Liver stiffness (LS), assessed using transient elastography (TE), and (FIB-4) can both estimate the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We compared prognostic performances of LS and FIB-4 to predict HCC development in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Data from 1308 patients with CHB, who underwent TE, were retrospectively analyzed. FIB-4 was calculated for all patients. The cumulative rate of HCC development was assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves. The predictive performances of LS and FIB-4 were evaluated using time-dependent receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The mean age (883 men) was 50 years. During follow-up (median 6.1 years), 119 patients developed HCC. The areas under the ROC curves (AUROCs) predicting HCC risk at 3, 5, and 7 years were consistently greater for LS than for FIB-4 (0.791-0.807 vs 0.691-0.725; all P<0.05). Similarly, when the respective AUROCs for LS and FIB-4 at every time point during the 7-year follow-up were plotted, LS also showed consistently better performance than FIB-4 after 1 year of enrollment. The combined use of LS and FIB-4 significantly enhanced the prognostic performance compared with the use of FIB-4 alone (P<0.05), but the performance of the combined scores was statistically similar to that of LS alone (P>0.05). LS showed significantly better performance than FIB-4 in assessing the risk of HCC development, and the combined use of LS and FIB-4 did not provide additional benefit compared with the use of LS alone. Hence, LS assessed using TE might be helpful for optimizing HCC surveillance strategies.
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