Non-invasive fibrosis scoring systems can predict future metabolic complications and overall mortality in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Progression to fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with an increased risk of liver-related events, overall mortality and possibly metabolic comorbidities. Our aim was to determine if non-invasive fibrosis scoring systems can predict the future risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), liver-related events and overall mortality.
Patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD 1978 to 2006 were identified from a computerised register in Malmö, Sweden. Medical records were scrutinised in detail to collect data from inclusion to endpoint (death or end of 2016). Non-invasive fibrosis scoring systems (FIB-4-index, NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), APRI and BARD score) were calculated and the scores classified into three risk categories (low, intermediate and high risk for advanced fibrosis). Chronic kidney disease was evaluated using the CKD-EPI equation.
One hundred and forty-four patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD were included, with a mean age of 53.2 years and a mean follow-up time of 18.8 years. At inclusion, 18% had advanced fibrosis. NFS was the only score that could predict the future risk of all included outcomes with fairly good accuracy (Area-under-ROC curve). Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios revealed that both the intermediate and high-risk category of FIB-4-index and NFS could significantly predict metabolic outcomes. All four scoring systems significantly predicted overall mortality in the high-risk category.
Non-invasive fibrosis scoring systems, especially NFS and FIB-4-index, can be used to identify patients at risk of future liver-related events, overall mortality, metabolic comorbidities and CKD.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Family Medicine
  • Urology and Nephrology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-334
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Early online date2019 Mar 23
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Önnerhag, K., 2019, Lund: Lund University, Faculty of Medicine. 88 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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