Performance of Serum-Based Scores for Identification of Mild Hepatic Steatosis in HBV Mono-infected and HBV–HIV Co-infected Adults

The HBV-HIV Cohort Study of the Hepatitis B Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: There are limited data on noninvasive methods to identify hepatic steatosis in coexisting hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Aims: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of noninvasive serum-based scores to detect steatosis using two distinct chronic HBV cohorts with liver histology evaluation. Methods: Chronic HBV cohorts with untreated HBV mono-infection (N = 302) and with treated HBV–HIV (N = 92) were included. Liver histology was scored centrally. Four serum-based scores were calculated: hepatic steatosis index (HSI), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Liver Fat Score (NAFLD-LFS), visceral adiposity index (VAI), and triglyceride glucose (TyG) index. Optimal cutoffs (highest sensitivity + specificity) to detect ≥ 5% HS, stratified by cohort, were evaluated. Results: HBV–HIV (vs. HBV mono-infected) patients were older (median 50 vs. 43 years), and a higher proportion were male (92% vs. 60%), were black (51% vs. 8%), had the metabolic syndrome (41% vs. 25%), and suppressed HBV DNA (< 1000 IU/mL; 82% vs. 9%). Applying optimal cutoffs, the area under the receiver operator curve for detecting ≥ 5% steatosis in HBV-only and HBV–HIV, respectively, was 0.69 and 0.61 for HSI, 0.70 and 0.76 for NAFLD-LFS, 0.68 and 0.64 for TyG, and 0.68 and 0.69 for VAI. The accuracy of optimal cutoffs ranged from 61% (NAFLD-LFS) to 67% (TyG) among HBV-only and 56% (HSI) to 76% (NAFLD-LFS) among HBV–HIV. Negative predictive values were higher than positive predictive values for all scores in both groups. Conclusion: The relative utility of scores to identify steatosis in chronic HBV differs by co-infection/anti-HBV medication status. However, even with population-specific cutoffs, several common serum-based scores have only moderate utility. NCT01924455.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-688
Number of pages13
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • HBV
  • Noninvasive
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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