Biliary atresia is a progressive obliterative cholangiopathy affecting both extrahepatic and intrahepatic biliary trees, resulting in fibrous obliteration of the biliary tract and subsequent development of cirrhosis.
The aim of this study was to find noninvasive indices to predict the status of hepatic fibrosis in children with biliary atresia.
Materials and methods
We retrospectively measured the volume of the hepatic lobes and spleen from MR images, obtained biochemical data and analyzed the relationship between the imaging and biochemical indices, and the pathological status of hepatic fibrosis in 35 children with biliary atresia.
A combined index was obtained by logistic regression: logit (likelihood of cirrhosis) = 0.00043 x age at MR examination + 1.67 x aspartate aminotransferase and platelet ratio index (APRI) + 0.0029 x body-surface-area-adjusted left liver lobe volume (BSA adLLV) – 6.57 (log-likelihood chi-square P<0.05, pseudo-R2=0.59). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of age at MR examination, APRI, BSA adLLV and the combined index for prediction of cirrhosis were 0.91, 0.86, 0.83 and 0.94, respectively. The optimal cut-off value (sensitivity and specificity) of age at MR examination, APRI, BSA adLLV and combined index were 132 (86% and 92%), 1.3 (91% and 85%), 855.5 (96% and 62%) and 0.689 (91% and 92%). The accuracy of age at MR examination, APRI, BSA adLLV and combined index were 89%, 89%, 83% and 91%, respectively.
A combined noninvasive index of age, aspartate aminotransferase and platelet ratio index, and the body-surface-area-adjusted left liver lobe volume measured from MR images is a potential marker of liver cirrhosis in children with biliary atresia.