Table 1

Serum biomarkers and imaging techniques for the detection of liver fibrosis: A summary of the features

Feature

Serum biomarkers

Imaging techniques


Invasiveness

Minimal (venopuction)

None


Sensitivity to sampling error

Minimal

Some


Interpretability of the test

High, if instructions are closely followed

Depends on experience of operator


Costs per test

Depend on a type of the test, but generally comparable with tests for serum insulin

Depends on the cost of equipment: highest for MRI. lowest for ARFI


Limitations imposed by anthropometric features

None

For TE and ARFI: width of the inter-costal space, the presence of ascites, the body mass index of patient and presence of visceral adiposity

For MRI: fitting within the magnetic bore, severe hemochromatosis, claustrophobia


Possibility of multiplexing

Possible, but often hard to implement

Not applicable


Suitability for longitudinal monitoring

High

High


Accuracy for the prediction of cirrhosis

Moderate-to-High

High


Accuracy for the prediction of adjacent stages of fibrosis

Low-to-Moderate

Low-to-Moderate


Interference by necroinflammatory activity and steatosis

Variable depending on the type of the test

Detectable for TE and ARFI


Baranova et al. BMC Gastroenterology 2011 11:91   doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-91

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