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MP 2.04.41 Noninvasive Techniques for the Evaluation and Monitoring of Patients with Chronic Liver Disease

Medical Policy    
Section
Medicine 
Original Policy Date
6/27/05
Last Review Status/Date
Reviewed with literature search/2:2015
Issue
2:2015
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Disclaimer

Our medical policies are designed for informational purposes only and are not an authorization, or an explanation of benefits, or a contract.  Receipt of benefits is subject to satisfaction of all terms and conditions of the coverage.  Medical technology is constantly changing, and we reserve the right to review and update our policies periodically.


Description

Biopsy for Chronic Liver Disease

The diagnosis of non-neoplastic liver disease is often made from needle biopsy samples. In addition to establishing a disease etiology, liver biopsy can determine the degree of inflammation present and can stage the degree of fibrosis. The degree of inflammation and fibrosis may be assessed by different scoring schemes. Most of these scoring schemes grade inflammation from 0 to 4 (0 = no or minimal inflammation, 4 = severe) and fibrosis from 0 to 4 (0 = no fibrosis, 4 = cirrhosis). There are several limitations to liver biopsy, including its invasive nature, small tissue sample size, and subjective grading system. Regarding small tissue sample size, liver fibrosis can be patchy and thus missed on a biopsy sample, which includes only 0.002% of the liver tissue. A noninvasive alternative to liver biopsy would be particularly helpful, both to initially assess patients and then as a monitoring tool to assess response to therapy.

Hepatitis C

Infection with HCV can lead to permanent liver damage. Liver biopsy is typically recommended before the initiation of antiviral therapy. Repeat biopsies may be performed to monitor fibrosis progression. Liver biopsies are analyzed according to a histologic scoring system; the most commonly used one for hepatitis C is the Metavir scoring system, which scores the presence and degree of inflammatory activity and
fibrosis. The fibrosis is graded from F0 to F4, with a Metavir score of F0 signifying no fibrosis and F4 signifying cirrhosis (which is defined as the presence throughout the liver of fibrous septa that subdivide the liver parenchyma into nodules and represents the final and irreversible form of disease). The stage of fibrosis is the most important single predictor of morbidity and mortality in patients with hepatitis C. Biopsies for hepatitis C are also evaluated according to the degree of inflammation present, referred to as the grade or activity level. For example, the Metavir system includes scores for necroinflammatory activity ranging from A0 to A3 (A0 = no activity, A1 = minimal activity, A2 = moderate activity, A3 = severe activity).

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the leading cause of liver disease in most Western countries. Histologic features of ALD usually include steatosis, alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH), hepatocyte necrosis, Mallory bodies (tangled proteins seen in degenerating hepatocytes), a large polymorphonuclear inflammatory  infiltrate, and, with continued alcohol abuse, fibrosis and possibly cirrhosis. The grading of fibrosis is similar to the scoring system used in hepatitis C. The commonly used Laënnec scoring system uses grades 0 to 4, with 4 being cirrhosis.

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined as a condition that pathologically resembles ALD but occurs in patients who are not heavy users of alcohol. It may be associated with a variety of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The characteristic feature of NAFLD is steatosis. At the benign end of the spectrum of the disease, there is usually no appreciable inflammation, hepatocyte death, or fibrosis. In contrast, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which shows overlapping histologic features with ALD, is an intermediate form of liver damage, and liver biopsy may show steatosis, Mallory bodies, focal inflammation, and degenerating hepatocytes. NASH can progress to fibrosis and cirrhosis. A variety of histologic scoring systems have been used to evaluate NAFLD. The NAFLD activity score (NAS) system for NASH includes scores for steatosis (0-3), lobular inflammation (0-3), and ballooning (0-2). Cases with scores of 5 or greater are considered NASH, while cases with scores of 3 and 4 are considered borderline (probable or possible) NASH. The grading of fibrosis is similar to the scoring system used in hepatitis C. The commonly used Laënnec scoring system uses grades 0 to 4, with 4 being cirrhosis.

Noninvasive Alternatives to Liver Biopsy

Multianalyte Assays

A variety of noninvasive laboratory tests are being evaluated as an alternative to liver biopsy. Biochemical tests can be broadly categorized into indirect and direct markers of liver fibrosis. Indirect markers include liver function tests such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), the ALT/AST ratio (also referred to as the AAR), platelet count, and prothrombin index. In recent years,  there has been growing understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of fibrosis, leading to direct measurement of the factors involved. For example, the central event in the pathophysiology of fibrosis is activation of the hepatic stellate cell. Normally, stellate cells are quiescent but are activated in the setting of liver injury, producing a variety of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. In normal livers, the rate of ECM production equals its degradation, but in the setting of fibrosis, production exceeds degradation. Metalloproteinases are involved in intracellular degradation of ECM, and a profibrogenic state exists when there is either a down regulation of metalloproteinases or an increase in tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP). Both metalloproteinases and TIMP can be measured in the serum, which directly reflects fibrotic activity. Other direct measures of ECM deposition include hyaluronic acid or α²-macroglobulin.

While many studies have been done on these individual markers, or on groups of markers in different populations of patients with liver disease, there has been interest in analyzing multiple markers using mathematical algorithms to generate a score that categorizes patients according to the biopsy score. It is proposed that these algorithms can be used as an alternative to liver biopsy in patients with liver disease.
The following proprietary, algorithm-based tests are commercially available in the United States.

HCV FibroSURE™

HCV FibroSURE™ (FibroTest™) uses a combination of 6 serum biochemical indirect markers of liver function plus age and sex in a patented algorithm to generate a measure of fibrosis and necroinflammatory activity in the liver that correspond to the Metavir scoring system for stage (ie, fibrosis) and grade (ie, necroinflammatory activity). The biochemical markers include the readily available measurements of α²-macroglobulin, haptoglobin, bilirubin, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), ALT, and apolipoprotein A1. Developed in France, the test has been clinically available in Europe under the name FibroTest™ since 2003 and is exclusively offered by LabCorp in the United States as HCV  FibroSURE™.

FibroSpect II

FibroSpect II uses a combination of 3 markers that directly measure fibrogenesis of the liver, analyzed with a patented algorithm. The markers include hyaluronic acid, TIMP-1, and α²-macroglobulin. FibroSpect II is offered exclusively by Prometheus Laboratories.

ASH FibroSURE™

ASH FibroSURE™ (ASH Test) uses a combination of 10 serum biochemical markers of liver function together with age, sex, height, and weight in a proprietary algorithm and is proposed to provide surrogate markers for liver fibrosis, hepatic steatosis, and ASH. The biochemical markers include α²-macroglobulin, haptoglobin, apolipoprotein A1, bilirubin, GGT, ALT, AST, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting glucose. The test has been available in Europe under the name ASH Test™ and is exclusively offered by LabCorp in the United States as ASH FibroSURE™.

NASH FibroSURE™

NASH FibroSURE™ (NASH Test) uses a proprietary algorithm of the same 10 biochemical markers of liver function in combination with age, sex, height, and weight and is proposed to provide surrogate markers for liver fibrosis, hepatic steatosis, and NASH. The biochemical markers include α²-macroglobulin, haptoglobin, apolipoprotein A1, bilirubin, GGT, ALT, AST, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting glucose. The test has been available in Europe under the name NASH Test™ and is exclusively offered by LabCorp in the United States as NASH FibroSURE™.

Noninvasive Imaging Technologies

Noninvasive imaging technologies to detect liver fibrosis or cirrhosis among patients with chronic liver disease are also being evaluated as an alternative to liver biopsy. The noninvasive imaging technologies include transient elastography (eg, FibroScan®), magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), ARFI (eg, Acuson S2000™), and real-time tissue elastography (RTE; eg, HI VISION Preirus). Noninvasive imaging
tests have been used in combination with multianalyte serum tests such as FibroTest or FibroSURE with FibroScan.

Transient Elastography

Transient elastography (FibroScan®) uses a mechanical vibrator to produce mild amplitude and low-frequency (50 Hz) waves, inducing an elastic shear wave that propagates throughout the liver. US tracks the wave, measuring its speed, which correlates with liver stiffness. Increases in liver fibrosis also increase liver stiffness and resistance of liver blood flow. Transient elastography does not perform as well in patients with ascites, higher body mass index, or narrow intercostal margins. Although FibroScan may be used to measure fibrosis, unlike liver biopsy, it does not provide information on necroinflammatory activity and steatosis, nor is it accurate during acute hepatitis or hepatitis exacerbations.

Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging

ARFI uses an US probe to produce an acoustic “push” pulse, which generates shear waves that propagate in tissue to assess liver stiffness. ARFI elastography evaluates the wave propagation speed to assess liver stiffness. The faster the shear wave speed, the harder the object. ARFI technologies include Virtual Touch™ Quantification and Siemens Acuson S2000™ system. ARFI elastography can be performed at the same time as a liver sonographic evaluation, even in patients with a significant amount of ascites.

Magnetic Resonance Elastography

MRE uses a driver to generate 60-Hz mechanical waves on the patient’s chest well. The MRI equipment creates elastograms by processing the acquired images of propagating shear waves in the liver using an inversion algorithm. These elastograms represent the shear stiffness as a pixel value in kilopascals. MRE has several advantages over US elastography, including: (1) analyzing larger liver volumes; (2) analyzing liver volumes of obese patients or patients with ascites; and (3) precise analysis of viscoelasticity using a 3-dimensional displacement vector.

Real-Time Tissue Elastography

RTE is a type of strain elastography which uses a combined autocorrelation method to measure tissue strain caused by manual compression or a person’s heartbeat. The relative tissue strain is displayed on conventional color B mode US images in real time. Hitachi manufacturers the RTE devices, including one called HI VISION Preirus. The challenge is to identify a region of interest while avoiding areas likely to introduce artifacts, such as large blood vessels, the area near the ribs, and the surface of the liver. Areas of low strain increase as fibrosis progresses and strain distribution becomes more complex. Various subjective and quantitative methods have been developed to evaluate the results. RTE can be performed in patients with ascites or inflammation. This technology does not perform as well in severely obese individuals.

Regulatory Status

On April 5, 2013, FibroScan® (Echosense SA, Paris, France), which uses transient elastography, was cleared for marketing FDA through the 510(k) process (K12 3806).

On November 13, 2008, Acuson S2000™ (Siemens AG, Erlanger, Germany), which provides ARFI imaging, was cleared for marketing by FDA through the 510(k) process.

On June 17, 2010, Hitachi HI VISION Preirus Diagnostic Ultrasound Scantier (Hitachi Medical Systems America, Twinsburg, OH), which provides RTE, was cleared for marketing by FDA through the 510(k) process (K093466).

On August 12, 2009, AIXPLORER® Ultrasound System (SuperSonic Imagine, Aix en Provence, France), which provides shear wave elastography, was cleared for marketing by FDA through the 510(k) process (K091970). FDA product code: IYO.


Policy

Multianalyte assays with algorithmic analyses are considered investigational for the evaluation or monitoring of patients with chronic liver disease.

The use of noninvasive imaging, including but not limited to transient elastography (eg, FibroScan), magnetic resonance elastography, acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI; eg, Acuson S2000), or real-time tissue elastography, is considered investigational for the evaluation or monitoring of patients with chronic liver disease.


Policy Guidelines

Multianalyte assays with algorithmic analyses (MAAAs) use the results from multiple assays of various types in an algorithmic analysis to determine and report a numeric score(s) or probability. The results of individual component assays are not reported separately.

Effective in September 2012, there are specific CPT MAAA codes for the 3 FibroSURE™ tests performed by LabCorp –

HCV FibroSURE™, LabCorp
0001M - Infectious disease, HCV, 6 biochemical assays (ALT, α²-macroglobulin, apolipoprotein A1, total bilirubin, GGT, and haptoglobin) utilizing serum, prognostic algorithm reported as scores for fibrosis and necroinflammatory activity in liver

ASH FibroSURE™, LabCorp
0002M - Liver disease, 10 biochemical assays (ALT, α²-macroglobulin, apolipoprotein A1, total bilirubin, GGT, haptoglobin, AST, glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides) utilizing serum, prognostic algorithm reported as quantitative scores for fibrosis, steatosis, and alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH)

NASH FibroSURE™, LabCorp
0003M - Liver disease, 10 biochemical assays (ALT, α²-macroglobulin, apolipoprotein A1, total bilirubin, GGT, haptoglobin, AST, glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides) utilizing serum, prognostic algorithm reported as quantitative scores for fibrosis, steatosis, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

There are no specific CPT codes that represent FibroSpect as a whole. At this time, it may be reported using the unlisted chemistry procedure code 84999 or with the codes for each component test. There is no specific CPT code for the use of the associated proprietary algorithm for FibroSpect. An example of possible coding would be:

  • hyaluronic acid [CPT 83520 – Immunoassay, analyte, quantitative; not otherwise specified]
  • tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1) [CPT 83520 – Immunoassay, analyte, quantitative; not otherwise specified]
  • α²-macroglobulin [CPT 83883 – Nephelometry, each analyte not elsewhere specified]

Effective in 2015, there is a specific CPT code for elastography:

91200 Liver elastography, mechanically induced shear wave (eg, vibration), without imaging, with interpretation and report

This policy does not address standard imaging with ultrasound or MRI.
* Note: Assessment of lipids as cardiac risk factors is addressed separately in Policy No. 2.04.65.


Benefit Application
BlueCard/National Account Issues

Both FibroSURE and FibroSpect are offered exclusively by reference laboratories, where the global charge will reflect the cost of the underlying laboratory analysis, and then, in addition, the charge associated with the use of the proprietary algorithm to analyze the data.

State or federal mandates (eg, FEP) may dictate that all devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not be considered investigational, and thus these devices may be assessed only on the basis of their medical necessity.


Rationale

This policy was created in 2005 and updated periodically using the MEDLINE database. The most recent literature review was for the period of September 22, 2014, through December 11, 2014.

Validation of the clinical use of any diagnostic test focuses on 3 main principles: (1) technical feasibility of the test; (2) diagnostic performance of the test, such as sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values in relevant populations of patients and compared with the criterion standard; and (3) clinical utility of the test, ie, how the results of the diagnostic test will be used to improve management of the patient.

Systematic Reviews on Multianalyte Assays

In a 2013 systematic review, Chou and Wasson evaluated the accuracy of a wide variety of blood tests in determining fibrosis and/or cirrhosis.1 Both “simple” tests such as platelet count, and more complex scoring systems such as the FibroTest and FibroIndex were included. A total of 172 studies were identified that compared the diagnostic accuracy of blood tests with liver biopsy. Blood tests associated with areas under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves of 0.70 or greater (range, 0.70-0.86) were considered fair to good for identifying fibrosis, and AUROC curves of 0.80 or greater (range, 0.80-0.91) were considered good to excellent for identifying cirrhosis. Tests for identifying clinically significant fibrosis with AUROC curves of 0.70 to 0.86 included platelet count, age-platelet index, aspartate aminotransferase-platelet ratio index (APRI), FibroIndex, FibroTest, and Forns index with median positive likelihood ratios of 5 to 10 at commonly used cutoffs. Tests for identifying cirrhosis with AUROC curves of 0.80 to 0.91 included platelet count, age-platelet index, APRI, and Hepascore also with median positive likelihood ratios of 5 to 10. Most tests did not have high negative predictive values (NPVd) for fibrosis, and negative likelihood ratios were found in the moderately useful range (0.10-0.20) at commonly used cutoffs, only with FibroIndex and FibroTest. This suboptimal NPV suggests that these tests perform better in identifying fibrosis than in ruling it out. Additionally, differences were small between the FibroTest or APRI and other blood tests, suggesting routinely available blood tests and simple calculations are not outperformed by additional blood tests and more complex algorithms in identifying fibrosis.

HCV FibroSURE (FibroTest™)

Technical Feasibility

Measurement of the serum levels of liver function tests (ie, α²-macroglobulin, haptoglobin, y-glutamyl transpeptidase [GGT], total bilirubin, apolipoprotein AI) are readily available biochemical tests. However, measurement of serum factors that directly measure fibrogenesis are relatively novel, and not readily available.

Diagnostic Performance

Initial research into the HCV FibroSURE algorithm involved testing an initial panel of 11 serum markers in 339 patients with liver fibrosis who had undergone liver biopsy. From the original group of 11 markers, 5 were selected as the most informative, based on logistic regression, neural connection, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Markers included α²-macroglobulin, haptoglobin, γ-globulin, apolipoprotein AI, GGT, and total bilirubin.(2) Using an algorithm-derived scoring system ranging from 0 to 1.0, the authors reported that a score of less than 0.10 was associated with a NPV of 100% (ie, absence of fibrosis, as judged by liver biopsy scores of Metavir F2-F4). A score greater than 0.60 was associated with a 90% positive predictive value (PPV) of fibrosis (ie, Metavir F2-F4). The authors concluded that liver
biopsy might be deferred in patients with a score less than 0.10.

The next step in the development of this test was the further evaluation of the algorithm in a cross-section of patients, including patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) participating in large clinical trials before and after the initiation of antiviral therapy. One study focused on patients with HCV who were participating in a randomized study of pegylated interferon and ribavirin.(3) From the 1530 participants, 352 patients with stored serum samples and liver biopsies at study entry and at 24-week  follow-up were selected. The HCV FibroSURE score was calculated and then compared with the Metavir liver biopsy score. At a cutoff point of 0.30, the HCV FibroSURE score had 90% sensitivity and 88% PPV for the diagnosis of Metavir F2-F4. The specificity was 36%, and the NPV was 40%. There was a large overlap in scores for patients in the Metavir F2-F4 categories, and thus the scoring system has been primarily used to subdivide patients with and without fibrosis (ie, Metavir F0-F1 vs F2-F4). When used as a monitoring test, patients can serve as their own baseline. Patients with a sustained virologic response to interferon also experienced reductions in the FibroTest and ActiTest scores.

Further studies were done to formally validate the parameters used to calculate the HCV FibroSURE scores. Acceptable levels of intralaboratory and intrapatient variability were reported.(4,5) Poynard et al also evaluated discordant results in 537 patients who underwent liver biopsy and the HCV FibroSURE and ActiTest on the same day; with the discordance attributed to either the limitations in the biopsy or serum markers.(6) In this study, cutoff values were used for the individual Metavir scores (ie, F0-F4) and also for combinations of Metavir scores (ie, F0-F1, F1-F2, etc.) The definition of a significant discordance between FibroTest and ActiTest and biopsy scores was a discordance of at least 2 stages or grades in the Metavir system. Discordance was observed in 29% of patients. Risk factors for biopsy failure included the biopsy size, number of fragments, and the number of portal tracts represented in the biopsy sample. Risk factors for failure of HCV FibroSURE scoring system were presence of hemolysis, inflammation, possible Gilbert syndrome, acute hepatitis, drugs inducing cholestasis, or an increase in transaminases. Discordance was attributable to markers in 2.4% of patients and to the biopsy in 18% and nonattributed in 8.2% of patients. The authors suggest that biopsy failure, frequently to the small size of the biopsy sample, is a common problem. The diagnostic value of FibroSURE-FibroTest has also been evaluated for the prediction of liver fibrosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).(7,8) As noted in 2 reviews, the bulk of the research regarding HCV FibroSURE was conducted by researchers with an interest in the commercialization of the algorithm.(9,10)

One Australian study attempted to independently replicate the results of FibroSURE in 125 patients with hepatitis C.(11) Using the cutoff point of less than 0.1 to identify lack of bridging fibrosis (ie, Metavir stages F0-F1) and greater than 0.6 to identify fibrosis (ie, Metavir stages F2-F4). The NPV for a score of less than 0.1 was 89%, compared with the 100% originally reported by Imbert-Bismut, and the PPV of a score
greater than 0.6 was 78% compared with 90%. The reasons for the inferior results in this study are unclear, but the authors concluded that the FibroSURE score did not accurately predict the presence or absence of fibrosis and could not reliably be used to reduce the need for liver biopsy.

Clinical Utility

The clinical utility of a test depends on the demonstration that the test can be used to improve patient management. The primary benefit of the HCV FibroSURE-FibroTest is its ability to avoid liver biopsy in patients without significant fibrosis. Thus, empiric data are needed that demonstrate that the FibroSURE test impacts clinician decision making on whether a biopsy should be performed and that the net effect is
to reduce the overall number of biopsies while achieving similar clinical outcomes. There are currently no such published studies to demonstrate clinical utility.

These tests also need to be adequately compared with other noninvasive tests of fibrosis to determine their comparative efficacy. In particular, the proprietary, algorithmic tests should demonstrate superiority to other readily available, nonproprietary scoring systems to demonstrate that the tests improve health outcomes.

The test also has potential clinical utility as a means to follow response to therapy. In this case, evidence needs to demonstrate that the use of the test for response to therapy impacts decision making and that these changes in management decisions lead to improved outcomes. Although the FibroSURE-FibroTest is reported to be widely disseminated and accepted in France, literature searches of English language
publications have not identified any clinical articles in which the HCV FibroSURE was actively used in the management of the patient. It is not clear whether the HCV FibroSURE could be used in lieu of an initial liver biopsy, or whether it could be used as an interval test in patients receiving therapy to determine whether an additional liver biopsy was necessary.

ASH FibroSURE (ASH Test)

Technical Feasibility
As above.

Diagnostic Performance

In 2006, Thabut et al reported the development of a panel of biomarkers (ASH FibroSURE-ASH Test) for the diagnosis of alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) in patients with chronic ALD.(12) Biomarkers were initially assessed with a training group consisting of 70 patients, and a panel was constructed using a combination of the 6 biochemical components of the FibroTest-ActiTest plus aspartate aminotransferase (AST). The algorithm was subsequently studied in 2 validation groups (1 prospective study for severe ALD, 1 retrospective study for nonsevere ALD) that included 155 patients and 299 controls. The severity of ASH (none, mild, moderate, severe) was blindly assessed from biopsy samples. In the validation groups there were 28 cases (18%) of discordance between the diagnosis of ASH predicted by the ASH Test and biopsy; 10 (36%) were considered to be false negatives of the ASH Test, and 11 were suspected to be failures of biopsy. Seven cases were indeterminate by biopsy. The AUROC curves were 0.88 and 0.89 in the validation groups. The median ASH Test value was 0.005 in controls, 0.05 in patients without or with mild ASH, 0.64 in the moderate ASH grade, and 0.84 in severe ASH grade 3. Using a cutoff value of 0.50, the ASH Test had sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 84%, with PPVs and NPVs of 72% and 89%, respectively.

Several of the authors have an interest in the commercialization of this test, and no independent studies on the diagnostic performance of ASH FibroSURE-ASH Test were identified. In addition, it is not clear if the algorithm used in this study is the same as in the currently commercially available test that includes 10 biochemicals.

Clinical Utility

The issues of clinical utility are similar to those discussed for the FibroSURE-FibroTest. No studies were identified that assessed clinical outcomes following use of ASH FibroSURE-ASH Test.

NASH FibroSURE (NASH Test)

Technical Feasibility
As above.

Diagnostic Performance

In 2006, Poynard et al reported the development of a panel of biomarkers (NASH FibroSURE-NASH Test) for the prediction of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in patients with NAFLD.(13) Biomarkers were initially assessed with a training group consisting of 160 patients, and a panel was constructed using a combination of 13 of 14 parameters of the currently available test. The algorithm was subsequently studied in a validation group of 97 patients and 383 controls. Patients in the validation group were from a prospective multicenter study with hepatic steatosis at biopsy and suspicion of NAFLD. Histologic diagnoses used Kleiner et al’s scoring system, with 3 classes for NASH (NASH, borderline NASH, no NASH). The main end point was steatohepatitis, defined as a histologic NASH score (NAS) of 5 or greater. The AUROC curve for the validation group was 0.79 for the diagnosis of NASH, 0.69 for the diagnosis of borderline NASH, and 0.83 for the diagnosis of no NASH. Results showed sensitivity of 33% and specificity of 94% for NASH with PPVs and NPVS of 66% and 81%, respectively. For borderline NASH or NASH, there was sensitivity of 88%, specificity of 50%, and PPVs and NPVs of 74% and 72%, respectively. Clinically significant discordance (2 class difference) was observed in 8 patients (8%). None of the 383 controls were considered to have NASH by NASH FibroSURE-NASH Test. The authors propose that this test would be suitable for mass screening for NAFLD in patients with obesity and diabetes.

An independent study from France was a prospective validation of the NASH Test (along with the FibroTest, Steatotest, and ActiTest) in a cohort of 288 patients treated with bariatric surgery.(14) Included were patients with severe or morbid obesity (body mass index, >35 kg/m²), at least 1 comorbidity for at least 5 years, and resistance to medical treatment. Excluded were patients with current excessive drinking, long-term consumption of hepatotoxic drugs, and positive screening for chronic liver diseases including hepatitis. Histology and biochemical measurements were centralized and blinded to other characteristics. The NASH test provided a 3-category score for no NASH (0.25), possible NASH (0.50), and NASH (0.75). The prevalence of NASH was 6.9%, while the prevalence of NASH or possible NASH was 27%. The concordance rate between histologic NAS and the NASH Test was 43.1% with a weak kappa reliability test (0.14). In 183 patients who were categorized as possible-NASH by the NASH Test, 124 (68%) were classified as no NASH by biopsy. In 15 patients categorized as NASH by the NASH Test,
7 (47%) were no NASH and 4 (27%) were possible NASH by biopsy. The NPV of the NASH Test for possible NASH or NASH was 47.5%. The authors suggest that the power of this study to validate agreement between the NASH Test and biopsy was low, due to the low prevalence of NASH. However, the results show poor concordance between the NASH Test and biopsy, particularly for intermediate values.

Clinical Utility

The issues of clinical utility are similar to those discussed for the FibroSURE-FibroTest. No studies were identified that assessed clinical outcomes following use of NASH FibroSURE-NASH Test.

FibroSpect II

Technical Feasibility

As previously noted, the FibroSpect test consists of measurements of hyaluronic acid, TIMP-1, and α²- macroglobulin. In a 2004 review, Lichtinghagen and Bahr noted that the lack of standardization of assays of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP) limited the interpretation of studies.(10)

Diagnostic Performance

Patel et al investigated the use of these serum markers in an initial training set of 294 patients with HCV and further validated the resulting algorithm in a validation set of 402 patients.15 The algorithm was designed to distinguish between no/mild fibrosis (F0-F1) and moderate to severe fibrosis (F2-F4). With the prevalence of F2-F4 disease of 52% and a cutoff value of 0.36; the PPVs and NPVs were 74.3% and 75.8%, respectively. Using a FibroSpect II cutoff score of 0.42, Christensen et al reported a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 66%, overall accuracy of 76%, and a NPV of 94% for advanced fibrosis in 136 patients with HCV.(16)

The published studies for this combination of markers continue to focus on test characteristics such as sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.(17-19)

Clinical Utility

The issues of clinical utility are similar to those discussed for the FibroSURE-FibroTest. No studies were identified in the published literature in which results of the FibroSpect test were actively used in the management of the patient.

Multianalyte Assays in Hepatitis B

While most of the multianalyte assay studies to identify fibrosis have been in patients with HCV, studies are also being conducted in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV).(20,21) In a 2013 study, Park et al compared liver biopsy and the FibroTest results obtained on the same day from 330 patients with chronic HBV.(22) Discordance was found in 30 patients (9.1%) of which the FibroTest underestimated fibrosis in 25 patients and overestimated fibrosis in 5 patients. Those with liver fibrosis F3-F4 had a significantly higher discordance rate than F1-F2 (15.4% vs 3.0%, respectively, p<0.001). The only independent factor for discordance on multivariate analysis was F3-F4 on liver biopsy (p<0.001).

In 2014 Salkic et al conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the diagnostic performance of FibroTest in chronic HBV.(23) Included in the meta-analysis were 16 studies (N=2494) on liver fibrosis diagnosis and 13 studies (N=1754) on cirrhosis diagnosis. There was strong evidence of heterogeneity in the 16 fibrosis studies and evidence of heterogeneity in the cirrhosis studies. For significant liver fibrosis (Metavir F2-F4) diagnosis using all of the fibrosis studies, the AUROC curve was 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 to 0.88). At the recommended FibroTest threshold of 0.48 for a significant liver fibrosis diagnosis, the sensitivity was 60.9%, specificity was 79.9%, and the diagnostic odds ratio (OR) was 6.2. For liver cirrhosis (Metavir F4) diagnosis using all of the cirrhosis studies, the AUROC curve was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.85 to 0.9). At the recommended FibroTest threshold of 0.74 for cirrhosis diagnosis, the sensitivity was 61.5%, specificity was 90.8%, and the diagnostic OR was 15.7. While the results demonstrated FibroTest may be useful in excluding a diagnosis of cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), the ability to detect significant fibrosis and cirrhosis and exclude significant fibrosis is suboptimal. In 2014 Xu
et al reported on a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on biomarkers to detect fibrosis in HBV.24 Included in the analysis on FibroTest were 11 studies with a total of 1640 patients. In these 11 studies, the AUROC curve ranged from 0.69 to 0.90. Heterogeneity in the studies was statistically significant.

There are no studies of the clinical utility for these patients. Of note, some researchers have noted that different markers (eg, HBV FibroSURE) may be needed for this assessment in patients with hepatitis B.(25)

Other Scoring Systems

Other scoring systems have been developed. For example, the APRI scoring system requires only the serum level of AST and the number of platelets and uses a simple nonproprietary formula that can be calculated at the bedside to produce a score for the prediction of fibrosis.(26) Using an optimized cutoff value derived from a training set and validation set of patients with HCV, the authors reported that the NPV for fibrosis was 86% and that the PPV was 88%.

Rosenberg et al developed a scoring system based on an algorithm combining hyaluronic acid, amino terminal propeptide of type III collagen, and TIMP-1.(27) The algorithm was developed in a test set of 400 patients with a wide variety of chronic liver diseases and then validated in another 521 patients. The algorithm was designed to discriminate between no or mild fibrosis and moderate to severe fibrosis. The NPV for fibrosis was 92%.

Giannini et al reported that use of the AST to alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio (AST/ALT ratio) ratio and platelet counts in a diagnostic algorithm would have avoided liver biopsy in 69% of their patients and would have correctly identified the absence/presence of significant fibrosis in 80.5% of these cases.(28)

A number of studies have compared HCV FibroSURE-FibroTest and other noninvasive tests of fibrosis with biopsy using ROC analysis. For example, Bourliere et al reported validation of FibroSURE-FibroTest and reported that based on ROC analysis that FibroSURE-FibroTest was superior to APRI (AST to platelet ratio index) for identifying significant fibrosis with AUROC curves of 0.81 and 0.71, respectively.(29) A 2012 prospective multicenter study from France compared 9 of the best-evaluated blood tests in 436 patients with hepatitis C and found similar performance for HCV FibroSURE-FibroTest, Fibrometer, and Hepascore (ROC curve, 0.84, 0.86, 0.84, respectively).(30) These 3 tests were significantly superior to the 6 other tests with 70% to 73% of patients considered well classified according to a dichotomized score (F0/F1 vs ≥F2). The number of “theoretically avoided liver biopsies” for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis was calculated to be 35.6% for HCV FibroSURE-FibroTest. To improve diagnostic performance, algorithms that combine HCV FibroSURE-FibroTest with other tests such as APRI are also being evaluated.(30-32)

Noninvasive Imaging

A 2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) Assessment(33) evaluated the use of noninvasive imaging to detect liver fibrosis or cirrhosis among patients with chronic hepatitis C. The noninvasive imaging types included transient elastography (eg, FibroScan®), magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI; eg, Acuson S2000™), and real-time
tissue elastography (RTE; eg, HI VISION Preirus). The TEC Assessment concluded evidence is insufficient to permit conclusions on the effect of noninvasive imaging to detect liver fibrosis or cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C and any net improvement on health outcomes cannot be established.

Transient Elastography

The TEC Assessment(33) found extensive literature on the use of transient elastography to gauge liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, but the body of evidence has a number of limitations. Included in the TEC Assessment were 3 meta-analyses on the use of FibroScan to identify fibrosis or cirrhosis in adult patients with chronic hepatitis C.(34-36) All of the diagnostic studies had a medium risk of bias. The cutpoints in kilopascals to distinguish between stages of fibrosis and cirrhosis using FibroScan varied across studies, and some studies provided results for multiple cutpoints. In general, the test performance characteristics, such as AUROC, improved as one moved from significant fibrosis to bridging fibrosis and cirrhosis to cirrhosis. The statistical significance of these changes was seldom reported, although 95% CIs were provided. Several studies reported likelihood ratios. The positive likelihood ratio increased from >F2 to >F3 to F4 and was usually larger than 5. The negative likelihood ratio was less than 0.2 in 1 of 3 cases for >F3 and in 2 of 3 cases for F4. The TEC Assessment concluded evidence on transient
elastography is insufficient to determine its accuracy in identifying significant fibrosis, bridging fibrosis and cirrhosis, and cirrhosis and its effects on health outcomes. Therefore, the available evidence is insufficient to permit conclusion on the effect on health outcomes of transient elastography to detect liver fibrosis or cirrhosis among patients with chronic hepatitis C.

ARFI Imaging

The TEC Assessment found limited evidence on ARFI.(33) In a meta-analysis, Bota et al compared transient elastography with ARFI elastography, with liver biopsy as the reference standard.(36) This metaanalysis did not reveal major differences in accuracy between transient elastography and ARFI elastography. There was no indication of major publication bias. In a meta-analysis on ARFI, an analysis
of 6 studies was reported on including 380 patients with chronic hepatitis C.(37) Using random-effects estimators and individual-level data, the area under the ROC curve was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.93) for ≥F2, 0.90 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.97) for ≥F3, and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.87 to 0.98) for F4. There was significant heterogeneity among the studies for ≥F3 and F4. The TEC Assessment concluded the paucity of the evidence on ARFI precludes any conclusion about its accuracy relative to liver biopsy or transient elastography or about ARFI alone versus liver biopsy, or about its effects on health outcomes.

Magnetic Resonance Elastography

The TEC Assessment found limited evidence on MRE.33 One retrospective study assessed the performance of contrast-enhanced MRE among 114 hepatitis C patients who had had a liver biopsy within the last 2 months.(38) There were only 3 true negatives in the ≥F1 category. It appears that MRE is most sensitive in detecting cirrhosis (F4), but no p values are reported comparing sensitivity across fibrosis categories. The limited evidence on MRE precludes any conclusion about its accuracy relative to liver biopsy or other types of noninvasive imaging or about its effects on health outcomes.

Real-Time Tissue Elastography

The TEC Assessment found limited evidence on RTE.(33) One study on RTE of 138 patients with hepatitis C reported transient elastography performed significantly better than RTE for all stages of fibrosis (≥F2, ≥F3, F4).(39) The positive likelihood ratio for ≥F2 was 8.36 for transient elastography and 2.04 for RTE. The negative likelihood ratio for ≥F2 was 0.31 for transient elastography and 0.31 for RTE. The paucity of the
evidence on RTE precludes any conclusion about its accuracy relative to liver biopsy or other types of noninvasive imaging, or about its effects on health outcomes.

Noninvasive Imaging in Hepatitis B

Steadman et al reported on the performance of transient elastography in various liver diseases, including hepatitis B.(34) There were differences in sensitivity for detecting cirrhosis between patients with hepatitis B (0.67; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.75) and hepatitis C (0.85; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.91), and the 95% CIs did not overlap. However, the test characteristics varied by disease, differed by stage (ie, ≥F2, ≥F3, F4) and by disease comparison. Furthermore, a larger proportion of studies reported on hepatitis C than on other diseases. Studies also reported different cutpoints for significant fibrosis (F2) or cirrhosis (F4), depending on underlying disease.(40) No significant differences in accuracy were reported for transient elastography between chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C in the meta-analysis by Tsochatzis et al.(35) In other words, the evidence on the degree to which FibroScan performs similarly across different disease states appears to be inconsistent. Evidence on other noninvasive imaging for hepatitis B is limited, therefore, conclusion on accuracy in hepatitis B and effects on health outcomes cannot be determined.

Combined Use of Multianalyte Assays and Noninvasive Imaging

The combined use of multianalyte assays with algorithmic analyses and noninvasive imaging has been evaluated to determine whether this adds incremental accuracy for the evaluation or monitoring of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. Few studies have evaluated the incremental accuracy of the combined use of tests. Therefore, there is insufficient evidence to determine the incremental benefit of combining multianalyte assays with noninvasive imaging and its effects on health outcomes cannot be determined.

Ongoing and Unpublished Clinical Trials

An online search of ClinicalTrials.gov on December 10, 2014, identified no active phase 3 or randomized studies on multianalyte assays and noninvasive imaging for chronic liver disease. In the SHEARWAVE trial, shear wave elastography and FibroTest/Fibromax will be compared with liver biopsy fibrosis score in children (NCT02041780). This study will enroll 80 patients and is estimated for completion in December 2015.

Another study using the FibroTest and transient elastography for liver fibrosis screening in diabetic patients (NCT01306110). This study had an estimated enrollment of 500 and completion date of June 2012, however, the status of the study is unknown.

Another study compared FibroTest with transient elastography in alcoholic liver disease (NCT00708617). This study had an estimated  enrollment of 227 and has been completed, but results have not been published. No active phase 3 or randomized studies were identified.

Clinical Input Received From Physician Specialty Societies and Academic Medical Centers

While the various physician specialty societies and academic medical centers may collaborate with and make recommendations during this process through the provision of appropriate reviewers, input received does not represent an endorsement or position statement by the physician specialty societies or academic medical centers, unless otherwise noted.

2014 Input

In response to requests, input was received from 3 physician specialty societies and 3 academic medical centers while this policy was under review in 2014. Most reviewers considered noninvasive techniques for the evaluation and monitoring of chronic liver disease to be investigational, both individually and in combination.

Summary of Evidence

For the hepatitis C virus (HCV) FibroSURE test the main body of literature has been published by the same group of investigators who developed the test. Data on the diagnostic accuracy and predictive value are variable. Although the negative predictive value (NPV) for the FibroSURE was reported as 100% by the authors who developed the test, another group of investigators reported an 89% NPV, suggesting that 11% of patients would potentially forgo initial antiviral therapy. A few studies have compared the diagnostic accuracy of FibroSURE with other noninvasive tests and report that the area under the curve on receiver operating characteristic analysis is higher than for nonproprietary tests.

There are less published data regarding the ASH FibroSURE and NASH FibroSURE tests and the FibroSpect test. In 1 study, the NPV of FibroSpect was 75.8%, which is substantially lower than that reported for FibroSURE. Because of the limited evidence on these other tests, the diagnostic accuracy and predictive ability is uncertain.

For imaging of liver fibrosis, there are many published studies on the use of noninvasive imaging to detect liver fibrosis or cirrhosis among patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, the evidence is insufficient to permit conclusions on any net improvements in health outcomes. The available evidence on noninvasive imaging for hepatitis B patients is more limited and also insufficient to permit conclusions on any net improvements in health outcomes. Evidence on the combined use of noninvasive imaging and multianalyte testing for the evaluation and monitoring of chronic liver disease is even more limited precluding any net improvement on health outcomes that can be established and is therefore considered investigational.

There were no studies identified that actually used the results of any of the tests to reduce the number of biopsies, or in the management of patients who are being treated. Therefore, there are inadequate scientific data to permit conclusions on whether HCV FibroSURE, ASH FibroSURE, NASH FibroSURE, or FibroSpect improve health outcomes, and therefore these tests are considered investigational. There is
also insufficient evidence to conclude whether the use of noninvasive imaging technologies, including but not limited to transient elastography (eg, FibroScan®), magnetic resonance elastography, acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (eg, Acuson S2000™), and real-time tissue elastography (eg, HI VISION Preirus) improves outcomes, and these tests are considered investigational.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements

The 2012 practice guidelines on the diagnosis and management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, developed by the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) do not reference multianalyte assays with algorithmic analyses (MAAAs) for liver fibrosis evaluation and management.(41)

The 2010 ACG guidelines on alcoholic liver disease also do not reference MAAAs.(42)

The 2014 AASLD and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for testing, managing, and treating hepatitis C(43) indicate ”evaluation for advanced fibrosis, using liver biopsy, imaging, or noninvasive markers, is recommended in all persons with HCV infection to facilitate an appropriate decision regarding HCV treatment strategy and determine the need for initiating additional screening measures” (class I, level B: evidence and/or general agreement; data derived from a single randomized trial, nonrandomized studies, or equivalent ). For pretreatment assessment of the degree of hepatic fibrosis, the AASLD/IDSA guidelines noninvasive testing or liver biopsy (class I, level A: evidence and/or general agreement; data derived from multiple randomized clinical trials, meta-analyses, or equivalent).

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations
Not applicable.

Medicare National Coverage
There is no national coverage determination (NCD). In the absence of an NCD, coverage decisions are left to the discretion of local Medicare carriers.

References:

  1. Chou R, Wasson N. Blood tests to diagnose fibrosis or cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. Jun 4 2013;158(11):807-820. PMID 23732714
  2. Imbert-Bismut F, Ratziu V, Pieroni L, et al. Biochemical markers of liver fibrosis in patients with hepatitis C virus infection: a prospective study. Lancet. Apr 7 2001;357(9262):1069-1075. PMID 11297957
  3. Poynard T, McHutchison J, Manns M, et al. Biochemical surrogate markers of liver fibrosis and activity in a randomized trial of peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin. Hepatology. Aug 2003;38(2):481-492. PMID 12883493
  4. Halfon P, Imbert-Bismut F, Messous D, et al. A prospective assessment of the inter-laboratory variability of biochemical markers of fibrosis (FibroTest) and activity (ActiTest) in patients with chronic liver disease. Comp Hepatol. Dec 30 2002;1(1):3. PMID 12537583
  5. Imbert-Bismut F, Messous D, Thibault V, et al. Intra-laboratory analytical variability of biochemical markers of fibrosis (Fibrotest) and activity (Actitest) and reference ranges in healthy blood donors. Clin Chem Lab Med. Mar 2004;42(3):323-333. PMID 15080567
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  7. Naveau S, Raynard B, Ratziu V, et al. Biomarkers for the prediction of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Feb 2005;3(2):167-174. PMID 15704051
  8. Ratziu V, Massard J, Charlotte F, et al. Diagnostic value of biochemical markers (FibroTest-FibroSURE) for the prediction of liver fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. BMC Gastroenterol. 2006;6:6. PMID 16503961
  9. Afdhal NH, Nunes D. Evaluation of liver fibrosis: a concise review. Am J Gastroenterol. Jun 2004;99(6):1160-1174. PMID 15180741
  10. Lichtinghagen R, Bahr MJ. Noninvasive diagnosis of fibrosis in chronic liver disease. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. Sep 2004;4(5):715-726. PMID 15347264
  11. Rossi E, Adams L, Prins A, et al. Validation of the FibroTest biochemical markers score in assessing liver fibrosis in hepatitis C patients. Clin Chem. Mar 2003;49(3):450-454. PMID 12600957
  12. Thabut D, Naveau S, Charlotte F, et al. The diagnostic value of biomarkers (AshTest) for the prediction of alcoholic steato-hepatitis in patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease. J Hepatol. Jun 2006;44(6):1175-1185. PMID 16580087
  13. Poynard T, Ratziu V, Charlotte F, et al. Diagnostic value of biochemical markers (NashTest) for the prediction of non alcoholo steato hepatitis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. BMC Gastroenterol. 2006;6:34. PMID 17096854
  14. Lassailly G, Caiazzo R, Hollebecque A, et al. Validation of noninvasive biomarkers (FibroTest, SteatoTest, and NashTest) for prediction of liver injury in patients with morbid obesity. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Jun 2011;23(6):499-506. PMID 21499110
  15. Patel K, Gordon SC, Jacobson I, et al. Evaluation of a panel of non-invasive serum markers to differentiate mild from moderate-to-advanced liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C patients. J Hepatol. Dec 2004;41(6):935-942. PMID 15582126
  16. Christensen C, Bruden D, Livingston S, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of a fibrosis serum panel (FIBROSpect II) compared with Knodell and Ishak liver biopsy scores in chronic hepatitis C patients. J Viral Hepat. Oct 2006;13(10):652-658. PMID 16970596
  17. Mehta P, Ploutz-Snyder R, Nandi J, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of serum hyaluronic acid, FIBROSpect II, and YKL-40 for discriminating fibrosis stages in chronic hepatitis C. Am J Gastroenterol. Apr 2008;103(4):928-936. PMID 18371145
  18. Patel K, Nelson DR, Rockey DC, et al. Correlation of FIBROSpect II with histologic and morphometric evaluation of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Feb 2008;6(2):242-247. PMID 18187364
  19. Snyder N, Nguyen A, Gajula L, et al. The APRI may be enhanced by the use of the FIBROSpect II in the estimation of fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. Clin Chim Acta. Jun 2007;381(2):119-123. PMID 17442291
  20. Mohamadnejad M, Montazeri G, Fazlollahi A, et al. Noninvasive markers of liver fibrosis and inflammation in chronic hepatitis B-virus related liver disease. Am J Gastroenterol. Nov 2006;101(11):2537-2545. PMID 17029616
  21. Zeng MD, Lu LG, Mao YM, et al. Prediction of significant fibrosis in HBeAg-positive patients with chronic hepatitis B by a noninvasive model. Hepatology. Dec 2005;42(6):1437-1445. PMID 16317674
  22. Park MS, Kim BK, Cheong JY, et al. Discordance between liver biopsy and FibroTest in assessing liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55759. PMID 23405210
  23. Salkic NN, Jovanovic P, Hauser G, et al. FibroTest/Fibrosure for Significant Liver Fibrosis and Cirrhosis in Chronic Hepatitis B: A Meta-Analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. Jun 2014;109(6):796-809. PMID 24535095
  24. Xu XY, Kong H, Song RX, et al. The effectiveness of noninvasive biomarkers to predict hepatitis B-related significant fibrosis and cirrhosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy. PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e100182. PMID 24964038
  25. Wai CT, Cheng CL, Wee A, et al. Non-invasive models for predicting histology in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Liver Int. Aug 2006;26(6):666-672. PMID 16842322
  26. Wai CT, Greenson JK, Fontana RJ, et al. A simple noninvasive index can predict both significant fibrosis and cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Hepatology. Aug 2003;38(2):518-526. PMID 12883497
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  30. Zarski JP, Sturm N, Guechot J, et al. Comparison of nine blood tests and transient elastography for liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C: the ANRS HCEP-23 study. J Hepatol. Jan 2012;56(1):55-62. PMID 21781944
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  32. Boursier J, de Ledinghen V, Zarski JP, et al. Comparison of eight diagnostic algorithms for liver fibrosis in hepatitis C: new algorithms are more precise and entirely noninvasive. Hepatology. Jan 2012;55(1):58-67. PMID 21898504
  33. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Use of Noninvasive Imaging to Detect Liver Fibrosis and Cirrhosis Among Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C. TEC Assessments 2014; June 2014 [in press].
  34. Steadman R, Myers RP, Leggett L, et al. A health technology assessment of transient elastography in adult liver disease. Can J Gastroenterol. Mar 2013;27(3):149-158. PMID 23516679
  35. Tsochatzis EA, Gurusamy KS, Ntaoula S, et al. Elastography for the diagnosis of severity of fibrosis in chronic liver disease: a meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy. J Hepatol. Apr 2011;54(4):650-659. PMID 21146892
  36. Bota S, Herkner H, Sporea I, et al. Meta-analysis: ARFI elastography versus transient elastography for the evaluation of liver fibrosis. Liver Int. Sep 2013;33(8):1138-1147. PMID 23859217
  37. Friedrich-Rust M, Nierhoff J, Lupsor M, et al. Performance of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse imaging for the staging of liver fibrosis: a pooled meta-analysis. J Viral Hepat. Feb 2012;19(2):e212-219. PMID 22239521
  38. Ichikawa S, Motosugi U, Ichikawa T, et al. Magnetic resonance elastography for staging liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. Magn Reson Med Sci. 2012;11(4):291-297. PMID 23269016
  39. Ferraioli G, Tinelli C, Malfitano A, et al. Performance of real-time strain elastography, transient elastography, and aspartate-to-platelet ratio index in the assessment of fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. AJR Am J Roentgenol. Jul 2012;199(1):19-25. PMID 22733889
  40. Stebbing J, Farouk L, Panos G, et al. A meta-analysis of transient elastography for the detection of hepatic fibrosis. J Clin Gastroenterol. Mar 2010;44(3):214-219. PMID 19745758
  41. Chalasani N, Younossi Z, Lavine JE, et al. The diagnosis and management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: practice guideline by the American Gastroenterological Association, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and American College of Gastroenterology. Gastroenterology. Jun 2012;142(7):1592-1609. PMID 22656328
  42. O'Shea RS, Dasarathy S, McCullough AJ, et al. Alcoholic liver disease. Hepatology. Jan 2010;51(1):307-328. PMID 20034030
  43. American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases Society of America. Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C. August 11, 2014. http://www.hcvguidelines.org/fullreport. Accessed September 26, 2014.

     

 

Codes

Number

Description

CPT   See also Policy Guidelines
ICD-9 Diagnosis     Investigational for all diagnoses
  570-573.9 Liver diseases code range (571.5 is fibrosis that is not alcohol related)
ICD-10-CM (effective 10/1/15)   Investigational for all diagnoses
   K70.0-K77 Liver diseases code range (fibrosis is K74.0)
ICD-10-PCS (effective 10/1/15)    Not applicable. No ICD procedure codes for laboratory tests.

 


Policy History

 

Date

Action

Reason

06/27/05

Add policy to Medicine section, Pathology/ Laboratory subsection
 

New policy

02/15/07

Replace policy

Policy updated with literature search through December 2006; policy statement unchanged. References 12-20 added
 

06/12/08

Replace policy

Replace policy Policy updated with literature search, references 21-24 added. Policy statement unchanged

11/12/09 Policy archived  
08/09/12 Replace policy Replace policy Policy returned to active review and expanded following the creation of new administrative multi-analyte assay codes (HCV FibroSURE™, ASH FibroSURE™, and NASH FibroSURE™). Literature review conducted through May 2012; references 6-7, 11-13, and 26-28 added and references reordered; policy statement unchanged
7/11/13 Replace policy Policy updated with literature search through May 2013, references 1, 25, and 31-33 added. Policy statement unchanged
7/10/14 Replace policy Policy updated with literature review through June 16, 2014, reference 22 added. Policy statement unchanged
10/09/14 Replace policy Policy updated with literature review through September 22, 2014. Policy title changed from “Multianalyte Assays With Algorithmic Analysis for the Evaluation and Monitoring of Patients With Chronic Liver Disease” to “Non-Invasive Techniques for the Evaluation and Monitoring of Patients With Chronic Liver Disease.” Policy statement added indicating the use of noninvasive imaging, including but not limited to transient elastography (eg, FibroScan), magnetic resonance elastography, acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI; eg, Acuson S2000), or real-time tissue elastography, is considered investigational for the evaluation or monitoring of patients with chronic liver disease. References 24, 33-40, and 43 added. Reference 34 removed.
2/12/15 Replace policy Policy updated with clinical input and literature review through December 11, 2014. Policy statements unchanged.