Table_4_Baveno Criteria Safely Identify Patients With Compensated Advanced Chronic Liver Disease Who Can Avoid Variceal Screening Endoscopy: A Diagnostic Test Accuracy Meta-Analysis.docx

Background: The Baveno VI Consensus Workshop defined criteria (liver stiffness measured by transient elastography <20 kPa and platelet count >150 × 109 cells/L) to identify those patients with compensated advanced chronic liver diseases (cACLD) who are unlikely to have varices needing treatment (VNTs) and can safely avoid variceal screening endoscopy. This meta-analysis aimed to quantify the safety and efficacy of these criteria in suspected cACLD with liver stiffness >10 kPa and in compensated chronic liver diseases (cCLD) irrespective of liver stiffness.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted in nine databases for studies discussed cACLD or cCLD and tested Baveno criteria against variceal screening endoscopy. The main safety and efficacy endpoints were missed VNT rate and spared endoscopy rate (SER), respectively; calculated with the random effect model. Pooled sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC) were calculated with the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic model. For all outcome measures, 95% confidence intervals were computed. Heterogeneity was tested with I2-statistics.

Results: The search yielded 13 studies including 4,464 patients which reported on suspected cACLD. Pooled missed VNT rate was 0.3% (0.1–0.6%; I2 = 45.5%), pooled SER was 32.8% (24.8–41.4%; I2 = 97.0%). Sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of Baveno criteria were 97% (95–98%), 41% (27–57%), and 96% (94–97%), respectively. In the subgroups of cACLD from hepatitis C and B viruses, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/steatohepatitis, or alcohol, missed VNT rates were 0.0% (0.0–0.3%), 1.2% (0.4–2.2%), 0.0% (0.0–1.3%), or 0.0% (0.0–0.4%), while SERs were 24.2% (20.5–28.1%), 24.9% (21.7–28.4%), 38.6% (10.9–70.8%), or 27.0% (16.9–38.4%), respectively. If we expanded the study population to cCLD, 27 studies included 7,534 patients. Missed VNT rate was 0.2% (0.1–0.5%; I2 = 39.8%) with a SER of 30.5% (25.2–36.2%; I2 = 96.1%) while Se, Sp, and AUC were 97% (93–99%), 35% (27–44%), and 80% (77–84%), respectively.

Conclusions: The application of Baveno criteria significantly reduces the number of unnecessary variceal screening endoscopies while being safe: cACLD patients with liver stiffness <20 kPa and platelet count > 150 × 109 cells/L carry a very low chance (i.e., 0.3%) of having VNTs. The criteria preserve low missed VNT rate with lower diagnostic performance among cCLD patients.