- •The N-terminal propeptide of type 3 collagen can be used for the staging fibrosis.
- •The ADAPT score has better diagnostic performance for identifying advanced fibrosis.
- •The ADAPT score can be used as new noninvasive tests for diagnosing advanced fibrosis.
With metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) incidence and prevalence increasing, it is necessary to identify patients with advanced fibrosis (F3-F4 stages). We evaluated the performance of new biomarkers and algorithms for diagnosing advanced fibrosis in an Asian population.
Data from two Asian cohorts (including 851 biopsy-proven MAFLD [578 from Wenzhou, 273 from Hong Kong]) were studied. The association between N-terminal propeptide of type 3 collagen (PRO-C3) and the histologic stage of liver fibrosis was analyzed by multivariable linear regression. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was used to test the diagnostic performance of serum PRO-C3 and the ADAPT score for advanced fibrosis and compared them to other established non-invasive tests.
Serum PRO-C3 levels increased progressively across liver fibrosis stages and correlated with advanced fibrosis (P < 0.001). The ADAPT score had an AUROC of 0.865 (95% confidence interval 0.829–0.901) for advanced fibrosis; the accuracy, sensitivity and negative predictive values were 81.4%, 82.2% and 96.1%, respectively. This result was better compared to that of PRO-C3 alone or other non-invasive fibrosis biomarkers (aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index, Fibrosis-4, BARD, and NAFLD fibrosis score). In subgroup analyses (including sex, age, diabetes, NAFLD activity score, body mass index or serum alanine aminotransferase levels), the ADAPT score had good diagnostic performance.
PRO-C3 and the ADAPT score reliably exclude advanced fibrosis in MAFLD patients and reduce the need for liver biopsy.
Abbreviations:ALT (alanine aminotransferase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), AAR (aspartate aminotransferase to alanine aminotransferase ratio), APRI (aspartate aminotransferase-platelet ratio index), AUROC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve), BMI (body mass index), CI (95% confidence interval), DCA (decision curve analysis), FIB-4 (fibrosis-4), MAFLD (metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease), NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), NFS (NAFLD fibrosis score), NPV (negative predictive value), OR (odds ratio), PRO-C3 (N-terminal propeptide of type 3 collagen), PPV (positive predictive value)
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Published online: December 24, 2021
Accepted: December 13, 2021
Received: October 4, 2021
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