Evaluation Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The diagnostic value of biomarkers (AshTest) for the prediction of alcoholic steato-hepatitis in patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim was to identify a panel of biomarkers (AshTest) for the diagnosis of alcoholic steato-hepatitis (ASH), in patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease.

METHODS: Biomarkers were assessed in patients with an alcohol intake>50 g/d, in a training group, and in two validation groups. Diagnosis of ASH (polymorphonuclear infiltrate and hepatocellular necrosis) and its histological severity (four classes: none, mild, moderate and severe) were assessed blindly.

RESULTS: Two hundred and twenty-five patients were included, 70 in the training group, 155 in the validation groups, and 299 controls. AshTest was constructed using a combination of the six components of FibroTest-ActiTest plus aspartate aminotransferase. The AshTest area under the ROC curves for moderate-severe ASH was 0.90 in the training group, 0.88 and 0.89 in the validation groups. The median AshTest value was 0.005 in controls, 0.05 in patients without or with mild ASH, 0.64 in moderate, and 0.84 in severe ASH grade 3, (P<0.05 between all groups). At a 0.50 cut-off, the sensitivity of AshTest was 0.80 and the specificity was 0.84.

CONCLUSIONS: In heavy drinkers, AshTest is a simple and non-invasive quantitative estimate of alcoholic hepatitis. The use of AshTest may reduce the need for liver biopsy, and therefore allow an earlier treatment of alcoholic hepatitis.

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