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Ismail H, Khan RTY*, Panezai MQ, Tasneem AA, Kumar D, Rasool N, Laeeq SM, Hanif FM, Khalid MA and Luck NH
Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi, Pakistan
*
Corresponding author:
Raja Taha Yaseen Khan,
Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh
Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi,
Pakistan, E-mail: raja_taha101488@hotmail.com
Received: 25 Jun 2022
Accepted: 06 Jul 2022
Published: 12 Jul 2022
J Short Name: COO
Copyright:
©2022 Khan RTY, This is an open access article distrib-
uted under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribu-
tion License, which permits unrestricted use, distribu-
tion, and build upon your work non-commercially.
Citation:
Khan RTY. Bedside Utility of Liaoning Score a Non-
Invasive As Predictor of Esophageal Varices in Hepatitis
C Associated Chronic Liver Disease in Pakistani
Population. Clin Onco. 2022; 6(9): 1-6
Bedside Utility of Liaoning Score a Non-Invasive As Predictor of Esophageal Varices in
Hepatitis C Associated Chronic Liver Disease in Pakistani Population
Clinics of Oncology
Review Article ISSN: 2640-1037 Volume 6
clinicsofoncology.com 1
Keywords:
Esophageal Varices; Cirrhosis; Platelet Count; Ascites
1. Abstract
1.1. Introduction
Portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients results in the development
of esophageal varices (EVs) with uncontrolled variceal bleeding ac-
counting for approximately 50% of mortality in cirrhotic patients.
Endoscopy is avoided by most of the patients due to its invasive-
ness. Liaoning score has been used previously in a Chinese popu-
lation as a noninvasive predictor of EVs, Hence, the aim of this
study was to validate the role of Liaoning score as a non-invasive
predictor of esophageal varices in Pakistani population.
1.2. Methods
It was a cross-sectional study which was carried out at Sindh In-
stitute of Urology and transplantation from 1st January 2020 to
31st December 2020. Cirrhotic patient with age > 18 years and no
history of previous EGD were included in the study. Baseline lab-
oratory investigations including ultrasound abdomen for chronic
liver disease and ascites were carried out. The presence or absence
of EVs was recorded on endoscopy. Liaoning score was calculated
using the formula-Liaoning score: 1.205+1.557 x ascites(1=yes,0=-
no)-0.008 x platelet count .Area under ROC was derived followed
by determination of sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and diagnos-
tic accuracy of Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices.
1.3. Results
Total number of patients included in the study were 273. Out of
them, 168 (61.6%) patients were males. EV were present in 199
(72.9%) patients. Ascites was noted in 32 (11.7%) patients. On
non-invasive investigations, platelet counts were significantly low-
er in the variceal group as compared to the non-variceal group
(54.4 vs 129.4, p≤0.001). High Liaoning score was found to be sig-
nificantly associated with presence of esophageal varices with a p.
value ≤0.001. Area under ROC was is 0.78(p≤0.001). At a cut off
≥0.55, the sensitivity, specificity, NPV and PPV were 96.98%, 77%,
91.9% and 90.48% respectively for Liaoning score in predicting
esophageal varices along with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.58%.
1.4. Conclusion
Liaoning score had an excellent diagnostic accuracy in predicting
esophageal varices with good sensitivity of more than 90%. How-
ever, further studies comprising of large sample size are required to
validate this non-invasive score.
2. Introduction
One of the most common etiologies resulting in portal hyperten-
sion is advanced liver disease termed as liver cirrhosis [1]. Portal
hypertension results in formation of portosystemic collaterals and
ascites. In cirrhotic patients, most common site of portosystemic
collaterals is distal esophagus forming esophageal varices (EVs).
Esophageal varices develop at a rate of 7% per year [2, 3]. Approx-
imately, 40% of the patients with compensated and 60% with de-
compensated liver disease have EVs at the time of index endosco-
py [4]. Varicella bleeding is one of the most lethal complication of
chronic liver disease with an increased risk of mortality and also
the most common cause of gastrointestinal bleeding in cirrhotic
patients [5-7].
In order to decrease the risk of varietal bleeding, early diagnosis
of the varices prior to bleed is essential. Currently, endoscopy is
considered a goal standard test for the detection and grading of the
esophageal varices [8, 9]. According to the recent BAVENO VII
clinicsofoncology.com 2
Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article
guidelines, all the patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis should
undergo surveillance endoscopy to rule out EVs and also to treat
medium and large sized varices to prevent varietal bleed [10]. Per-
formance under continuous sedation, poor availability of endo-
scopic units in the remote areas, high cost and invasive nature of
the procedure results in avoidance of endoscopy by most of the
patients [11, 12].
Recently, non-invasive scores have been proposed to have a role in
detection of esophageal varices. These include platelet count, liver
stiffness, ratio of platelet count to splenic diameter, splenic stiff-
ness, AST/ALT, Child Pugh Score,P2MS, LoK score etc., [13-16].
Recently, Li Q et al., [17] developed a score ‘Liaoning score’ termed
on the basis of the study performed in Liaoning province, China,
based on simple variables, having better diagnostic accuracy as
compared to the other scores in predicting EVs in liver cirrhosis.
Little work has been done previously in our country regarding
the utility of this score as a non-invasive tool in the prediction of
esophageal varices. This score is different from the other non-inva-
sive scores as it can be implicated in decompensated chronic liver
disease (i.e. patients with ascites) as well.
2.1. Aim
To evaluate the use of Liaoning score as a non-invasive predictor of
esophageal varices in patients with liver cirrhosis.
2.2. Methods
This was a cross-sectional prospective study, which was conduct-
ed at the department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of
Urology and Transplantation from 1st June 2020 to 31st December
2021 after the approval from the ethical research committee of the
hospital.
2.3. Inclusion criteria
Patients with either gender having age greater than 18 years and
history of hepatitis C associated chronic liver disease were includ-
ed in the study.
2.3.1. Liver Cirrhosis: [18]
All patients who are recently diagnosed with liver cirrhosis based
on ultrasound abdomen findings of presence of at least three of the
following features
• Altered echo texture of liver
• Irregular margin
• Spleen size more than 12 cm
• Portal vein diameter more than 12 mm
• Presence of fluid in abdomen on ultrasound
2.3.2. Esophageal Varices: [19]
• Esophageal varices will be diagnosed on endoscopy as
presence of abnormally enlarged, tortuous or coiled shaped dilated
veins within the linings of esophagus
2.4. Exclusion Criteria
• A prior history of endoscopy for EV screening, surveil-
lance, or treatment;
• A prior history of EGD that incidentally revealed EV
• Other etiologies of chronic liver diseases i.e. hepatitis B,
Alcoholic hepatitis, Non alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD),Au-
toimmune Hepatitis
• Non-cirrhotic etiologies for portal hypertension
2.5. Data Collection Procedure
All patients presenting to outpatient departments of Hepatogastro-
enterology (GI-OPD), SIUT, Karachi and diagnosed with Hepati-
tis C associated liver cirrhosis (as per operational definition) were
enrolled in this study. Informed written consent will be obtained
from the participants of the study.
The baseline laboratory investigations were done for complete
blood count including hemoglobin, total leucocyte count and
platelets, liver function test, coagulation profile including interna-
tional normalized ratio and serum albumin. The detection of HCV
RNA PCR was done using ELISA (Enzyme linked Immunosorbent
assay) method. All the patients then underwent abdominal ultra-
sound for measurement of ascites and other features of chronic
liver disease which was performed by a consultant radiologist; us-
ing US machine (TOSHIBA-apleo 50 Model MCM17545TS). Each
patient then underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to doc-
ument the presence or absence of EVs. All the data obtained was
then entered in the pre-designed preform.
Liaoning score was calculated using the following formula:
Liaoning score: 1.205+1.557 x ascites (1=yes,0=no)-0.008 x platelet
count
2.6. Data Analysis Procedure
The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.The
continuous variables were recorded as mean ±S.D while categori-
cal variables were recorded as frequency and percentages. Contin-
uous data was analyzed using student-t test while categorical data
was analyzed using chi square test. Liaoning score was calculated
and area under the ROC was obtained for Liaoning score to eval-
uate the diagnostic performance of the score in predicting esoph-
ageal varices.
3. Results
Total number of patients included in the study were 273. Out of
them, 168(61.6%) patients were males while 105(38.4%) were fe-
males. Mean age was 43.5±12.5 years. The baseline characteristics
are shown in (Table 1). On ultrasound abdomen, altered texture
of liver was noted in 251(9.12%) patients while splenomegaly was
seen in 189(69.2%) , ascites in 32(11.7%) and dilated portal vein
in 15(5.5%) patients respectively. 23(8.4%) patients had mild as-
clinicsofoncology.com 3
Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article
cites, 9(3.3%) patients had moderate ascites while there was no
ascites in 241(88.3%) patients. 180(65.9%) patients had CTP
class A while 93(34.1%) had CTP class B. Mean platelet count
was 74.8±40.3(x109/L).Mean MELD score was 10.9±3.4. Esoph-
ageal varices were present in 199(72.9%) patients. Among them,
103(37.8%) patients had grade I, 63(23.1%) had grade II and
15(5.5%) had grade III esophageal varices on index endoscopy.
Mean Liaoning score was 0.79±0.57. Comparison of continuous
and categorical variables in terms of esophageal varices is shown
in (Table 2 and 3). On non-invasive investigations, total biliru-
bin(p ≤0.001), Alkaline Phosphatase(p=0.04), Aspartate Trans-
aminase(p=0.008), Alanine Transaminase(p=0.04), Gamma Glu-
tamyl Transpeptidase((p ≤0.001)p ≤0.001), INR(p ≤0.001), MELD
score(p ≤0.001) and Liaoning score was significantly higher in the
patients with the presence of esophageal varices while the plate-
let counts(p ≤0.001), serum albumin(p=0.013)and total leucocyte
count(p ≤0.001) were significantly lower in the variceal group as
compared to the non-variceal group. In the studied population,
male gender, CTP class A and presence of ascites were also seen to
be significantly associated with the presence of esophageal varices.
Liaoning score was significantly higher in the patients with esoph-
ageal varices on endoscopy as compared to the non-variceal group
(0.89 vs0.52, p. value ≤0.001). Area under ROC obtained for Lia-
oning score was 0.78(p≤0.001) (Figure 1). At a cut off ≥0.55, the
sensitivity, specificity, NPV and PPV were 96.98%, 77%, 91.9% and
90.48% respectively for Liaoning score in predicting esophageal
varices along with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.58%. (Table 4)
Figure 1: Area under Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) for Liaoning score in prediction of esophageal varices is 0.78(p-value-≤0.001)
clinicsofoncology.com 4
Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article
Table 1: Baseline characteristics of the population included in the study (n-273)
Study population n (%)
43.5±12.5
Mean age (years±S.D)
Gender Male 168(61.5)
Female 10538.5)
Hemoglobin(g/dL) 10.8±2.1 10.8±2.1
Total Leucocyte Count(x109/L) 4.5±2.4 4.5±2.4
Platelet Count(x109/L) 74.8±40.3 74.8±40.3
Total Bilirubin(mg/dl) 1.3±0.75 1.3±0.75
Alkaline Phosphatase(IU/L) 190±187 190±187
Aspartate Transaminase(AST)(IU/L) 59±52 59±52
Alanine Transaminase(ALT)(IU/L) 45±34 45±34
Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT)(IU/L) 74±59 74±59
Child Turcotte Pugh Score A 180(65.9)
B 93(34.1)
MELD score 10.9±3.4
Esophageal varices Present 199(72.9)
Absent 74(27.1)
Liaoning score 0.79±0.57
Table 2: Comparison of continuous variables in terms of presence of esophageal varices
Variable No Varices (n-74) Mean ± SD Esophageal varices present
(n-199) Mean ± SD
Mean ± SD
Age 45.6± 14.7 42.6 ± 11.4 0.089
Hemoglobin(g/dL) 11.5 ±2.01 10.1 ± 2.7 0.02
Total Leucocyte Count(x109/L) 6.8± 2.7 3.7 ±2.5 ≤0.001
Platelet Count(x109/L) 129.4 ± 27.3 54.4 ± 20.4 ≤0.001
Total Bilirubin(mg/dl) 0.92± 0.72 1.5 ±0.75 ≤0.001
Alkaline Phosphatase(IU/L) 53±104 204± 208 0.043
Aspartate Transaminase(AST)(IU/L) 46±`23 64±59 0.008
Alanine Transaminase(ALT)(IU/L) 38±20 48±37 0.04
Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase(GGT)(IU/L) 65±51 98±70 ≤0.001
Serum Albumin(g/dL) 3.5±0.56 3.3±0.64 0.013
International normalized ratio(INR) 1.1±0.4 1.2±0.19 ≤0.001
CTP score 6.1 ± 1.1 6.2± 1.2 0.901
MELD Score 10.2±4.3 11.3 ±3.6 ≤0.001
Liaoning score 0.52± 0.67 0.89± 0.5 ≤0.001
clinicsofoncology.com 5
Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article
Table 3: Comparison of categorical variables in terms of presence of esophageal varices
Variable Esophageal varices present
(n-199) n (%)
No Varices (n-74) n (%) p-value
Gender Male 115(68.4) 53(50) ≤0.001
Female 84(31.6) 21(50)
CTP score A 130(56.1) 51(82.4) ≤0.001
B 69(43.9) 23(17.6)
Ascites Present 15 17 0.001
Absent 180 57
Liaoning score <0.55 6(94.7) 57(38.2) ≤0.001
≥0.55 193(5.3) 17(61.8)
Table 4: Diagnostic accuracy of Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices
Statistics Percentage
Sensitivity 96.98%
Specificity 77.03%
Positive Predictive Value 91.90%
Negative Predictive Value 90.48%
Diagnostic Accuracy 91.58%
4. Discussion
Liver cirrhosis leads to portal hypertension, which is most com-
monly manifested as esophageal varices [1]. Therefore, all clinical
consensus recommend varietal screening at the time of diagnosis of
liver cirrhosis [10]. This methodology will help in identifying those
patients who can benefit either from non-selective beta-blockers
therapy or endoscopic treatment. However, due to its cost and in-
vasiveness, endoscopy is generally avoided by the patients [11, 12].
Currently, multiple non-invasive scores have been utilized for the
prediction of esophageal varices and portal hypertension [13-16].
One of these scores include the Liaoning score that has been uti-
lized in the Chinese population for the prediction of esophageal
varices [17]. Chinese study done by Li Q et al., [20] comprised of
612 patients and had an AUROC of 0.734 in prediction of EVs
.They used a cut off of 0.487 with a sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and
NPV of 81.96%, 65.22%, 98.1%, and 14.3%, respectively. While in
our study, we included a total of 273 patients who were HCV posi-
tive and were newly diagnosed to have cirrhosis on the basis of ul-
trasound abdomen. The AUROC obtained for Liaoning score was
0.78, which was slightly higher in our population as compared to
that of the Chinese population with an excellent sensitivity (96.8%
vs 81.96%),far better specificity(77% vs 65.22%),an excellent PPV
(91.9% vs 98.1%) and NPV(90.48% vs 14.3%) respectively in pre-
dicting EVs.
Low platelet count in cirrhotic patients is likely due to hyper splen-
ism that can be attributed to portal hypertension secondary to ad-
vanced liver fibrosis in these patients [21]. In the previous as well as
in our study as well, low platelet count was significantly associated
with the presence of esophageal varices (54.4 vs 129.4) (p≤0.001)
but utility of platelet count alone as a marker of predictor of EVs is
yet to be established as multiple other diseases can result in throm-
bocytopenia [22]. BAVENO VII has utilized the combination of
liver stiffness and thrombocytopenia for prediction of esophageal
varices in newly diagnosed cirrhotics [10].
Previously, meta-analysis has shown the utility of different bed
side scores in the prediction of EVs in compensated cirrhosis [23].
However, Liaoning score is the first non-invasive bedside score for
the prediction of EVs in the patients with ascites. Li et al., [20] re-
vealed that the performance of Liaoning score was far better than
the other non-invasive scores for the prediction of EVs in decom-
pensated cirrhosis.
There are certain limitations to our study. First of all, only patients
with hepatitis C associated chronic liver disease were enrolled and
our sample size was low as compared to the other studies done in
this regard. Secondly, we did not evaluate the utility of this score
in prediction of EVs in cirrhotic patients presenting with hemate-
mesis or Melena. Third, we did not compare the diagnostic utility
of Liaoning score with other non-invasive available scores in our
clinicsofoncology.com 6
Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article
population.
The strength of the study was that it was the first study that utilized
the non-invasive score in the prediction of EVs in decompensated
cirrhosis in our population. Secondly, it was a prospective study.
5. Conclusion
Liaoning score can be utilized for the prediction of EVs in cirrhotic
patients especially those with decompensated cirrhosis. However,
further studies with large sample size are required to validate the
score and its comparison with other scores in predicting EVs .
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Bedside Utility of Liaoning Score a Non-Invasive As Predictor of Esophageal Varices in Hepatitis C Associated Chronic Liver Disease in Pakistani Population

  • 1. Ismail H, Khan RTY*, Panezai MQ, Tasneem AA, Kumar D, Rasool N, Laeeq SM, Hanif FM, Khalid MA and Luck NH Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi, Pakistan * Corresponding author: Raja Taha Yaseen Khan, Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: raja_taha101488@hotmail.com Received: 25 Jun 2022 Accepted: 06 Jul 2022 Published: 12 Jul 2022 J Short Name: COO Copyright: ©2022 Khan RTY, This is an open access article distrib- uted under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribu- tion License, which permits unrestricted use, distribu- tion, and build upon your work non-commercially. Citation: Khan RTY. Bedside Utility of Liaoning Score a Non- Invasive As Predictor of Esophageal Varices in Hepatitis C Associated Chronic Liver Disease in Pakistani Population. Clin Onco. 2022; 6(9): 1-6 Bedside Utility of Liaoning Score a Non-Invasive As Predictor of Esophageal Varices in Hepatitis C Associated Chronic Liver Disease in Pakistani Population Clinics of Oncology Review Article ISSN: 2640-1037 Volume 6 clinicsofoncology.com 1 Keywords: Esophageal Varices; Cirrhosis; Platelet Count; Ascites 1. Abstract 1.1. Introduction Portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients results in the development of esophageal varices (EVs) with uncontrolled variceal bleeding ac- counting for approximately 50% of mortality in cirrhotic patients. Endoscopy is avoided by most of the patients due to its invasive- ness. Liaoning score has been used previously in a Chinese popu- lation as a noninvasive predictor of EVs, Hence, the aim of this study was to validate the role of Liaoning score as a non-invasive predictor of esophageal varices in Pakistani population. 1.2. Methods It was a cross-sectional study which was carried out at Sindh In- stitute of Urology and transplantation from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020. Cirrhotic patient with age > 18 years and no history of previous EGD were included in the study. Baseline lab- oratory investigations including ultrasound abdomen for chronic liver disease and ascites were carried out. The presence or absence of EVs was recorded on endoscopy. Liaoning score was calculated using the formula-Liaoning score: 1.205+1.557 x ascites(1=yes,0=- no)-0.008 x platelet count .Area under ROC was derived followed by determination of sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and diagnos- tic accuracy of Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices. 1.3. Results Total number of patients included in the study were 273. Out of them, 168 (61.6%) patients were males. EV were present in 199 (72.9%) patients. Ascites was noted in 32 (11.7%) patients. On non-invasive investigations, platelet counts were significantly low- er in the variceal group as compared to the non-variceal group (54.4 vs 129.4, p≤0.001). High Liaoning score was found to be sig- nificantly associated with presence of esophageal varices with a p. value ≤0.001. Area under ROC was is 0.78(p≤0.001). At a cut off ≥0.55, the sensitivity, specificity, NPV and PPV were 96.98%, 77%, 91.9% and 90.48% respectively for Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices along with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.58%. 1.4. Conclusion Liaoning score had an excellent diagnostic accuracy in predicting esophageal varices with good sensitivity of more than 90%. How- ever, further studies comprising of large sample size are required to validate this non-invasive score. 2. Introduction One of the most common etiologies resulting in portal hyperten- sion is advanced liver disease termed as liver cirrhosis [1]. Portal hypertension results in formation of portosystemic collaterals and ascites. In cirrhotic patients, most common site of portosystemic collaterals is distal esophagus forming esophageal varices (EVs). Esophageal varices develop at a rate of 7% per year [2, 3]. Approx- imately, 40% of the patients with compensated and 60% with de- compensated liver disease have EVs at the time of index endosco- py [4]. Varicella bleeding is one of the most lethal complication of chronic liver disease with an increased risk of mortality and also the most common cause of gastrointestinal bleeding in cirrhotic patients [5-7]. In order to decrease the risk of varietal bleeding, early diagnosis of the varices prior to bleed is essential. Currently, endoscopy is considered a goal standard test for the detection and grading of the esophageal varices [8, 9]. According to the recent BAVENO VII
  • 2. clinicsofoncology.com 2 Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article guidelines, all the patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis should undergo surveillance endoscopy to rule out EVs and also to treat medium and large sized varices to prevent varietal bleed [10]. Per- formance under continuous sedation, poor availability of endo- scopic units in the remote areas, high cost and invasive nature of the procedure results in avoidance of endoscopy by most of the patients [11, 12]. Recently, non-invasive scores have been proposed to have a role in detection of esophageal varices. These include platelet count, liver stiffness, ratio of platelet count to splenic diameter, splenic stiff- ness, AST/ALT, Child Pugh Score,P2MS, LoK score etc., [13-16]. Recently, Li Q et al., [17] developed a score ‘Liaoning score’ termed on the basis of the study performed in Liaoning province, China, based on simple variables, having better diagnostic accuracy as compared to the other scores in predicting EVs in liver cirrhosis. Little work has been done previously in our country regarding the utility of this score as a non-invasive tool in the prediction of esophageal varices. This score is different from the other non-inva- sive scores as it can be implicated in decompensated chronic liver disease (i.e. patients with ascites) as well. 2.1. Aim To evaluate the use of Liaoning score as a non-invasive predictor of esophageal varices in patients with liver cirrhosis. 2.2. Methods This was a cross-sectional prospective study, which was conduct- ed at the department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation from 1st June 2020 to 31st December 2021 after the approval from the ethical research committee of the hospital. 2.3. Inclusion criteria Patients with either gender having age greater than 18 years and history of hepatitis C associated chronic liver disease were includ- ed in the study. 2.3.1. Liver Cirrhosis: [18] All patients who are recently diagnosed with liver cirrhosis based on ultrasound abdomen findings of presence of at least three of the following features • Altered echo texture of liver • Irregular margin • Spleen size more than 12 cm • Portal vein diameter more than 12 mm • Presence of fluid in abdomen on ultrasound 2.3.2. Esophageal Varices: [19] • Esophageal varices will be diagnosed on endoscopy as presence of abnormally enlarged, tortuous or coiled shaped dilated veins within the linings of esophagus 2.4. Exclusion Criteria • A prior history of endoscopy for EV screening, surveil- lance, or treatment; • A prior history of EGD that incidentally revealed EV • Other etiologies of chronic liver diseases i.e. hepatitis B, Alcoholic hepatitis, Non alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD),Au- toimmune Hepatitis • Non-cirrhotic etiologies for portal hypertension 2.5. Data Collection Procedure All patients presenting to outpatient departments of Hepatogastro- enterology (GI-OPD), SIUT, Karachi and diagnosed with Hepati- tis C associated liver cirrhosis (as per operational definition) were enrolled in this study. Informed written consent will be obtained from the participants of the study. The baseline laboratory investigations were done for complete blood count including hemoglobin, total leucocyte count and platelets, liver function test, coagulation profile including interna- tional normalized ratio and serum albumin. The detection of HCV RNA PCR was done using ELISA (Enzyme linked Immunosorbent assay) method. All the patients then underwent abdominal ultra- sound for measurement of ascites and other features of chronic liver disease which was performed by a consultant radiologist; us- ing US machine (TOSHIBA-apleo 50 Model MCM17545TS). Each patient then underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to doc- ument the presence or absence of EVs. All the data obtained was then entered in the pre-designed preform. Liaoning score was calculated using the following formula: Liaoning score: 1.205+1.557 x ascites (1=yes,0=no)-0.008 x platelet count 2.6. Data Analysis Procedure The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.The continuous variables were recorded as mean ±S.D while categori- cal variables were recorded as frequency and percentages. Contin- uous data was analyzed using student-t test while categorical data was analyzed using chi square test. Liaoning score was calculated and area under the ROC was obtained for Liaoning score to eval- uate the diagnostic performance of the score in predicting esoph- ageal varices. 3. Results Total number of patients included in the study were 273. Out of them, 168(61.6%) patients were males while 105(38.4%) were fe- males. Mean age was 43.5±12.5 years. The baseline characteristics are shown in (Table 1). On ultrasound abdomen, altered texture of liver was noted in 251(9.12%) patients while splenomegaly was seen in 189(69.2%) , ascites in 32(11.7%) and dilated portal vein in 15(5.5%) patients respectively. 23(8.4%) patients had mild as-
  • 3. clinicsofoncology.com 3 Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article cites, 9(3.3%) patients had moderate ascites while there was no ascites in 241(88.3%) patients. 180(65.9%) patients had CTP class A while 93(34.1%) had CTP class B. Mean platelet count was 74.8±40.3(x109/L).Mean MELD score was 10.9±3.4. Esoph- ageal varices were present in 199(72.9%) patients. Among them, 103(37.8%) patients had grade I, 63(23.1%) had grade II and 15(5.5%) had grade III esophageal varices on index endoscopy. Mean Liaoning score was 0.79±0.57. Comparison of continuous and categorical variables in terms of esophageal varices is shown in (Table 2 and 3). On non-invasive investigations, total biliru- bin(p ≤0.001), Alkaline Phosphatase(p=0.04), Aspartate Trans- aminase(p=0.008), Alanine Transaminase(p=0.04), Gamma Glu- tamyl Transpeptidase((p ≤0.001)p ≤0.001), INR(p ≤0.001), MELD score(p ≤0.001) and Liaoning score was significantly higher in the patients with the presence of esophageal varices while the plate- let counts(p ≤0.001), serum albumin(p=0.013)and total leucocyte count(p ≤0.001) were significantly lower in the variceal group as compared to the non-variceal group. In the studied population, male gender, CTP class A and presence of ascites were also seen to be significantly associated with the presence of esophageal varices. Liaoning score was significantly higher in the patients with esoph- ageal varices on endoscopy as compared to the non-variceal group (0.89 vs0.52, p. value ≤0.001). Area under ROC obtained for Lia- oning score was 0.78(p≤0.001) (Figure 1). At a cut off ≥0.55, the sensitivity, specificity, NPV and PPV were 96.98%, 77%, 91.9% and 90.48% respectively for Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices along with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.58%. (Table 4) Figure 1: Area under Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) for Liaoning score in prediction of esophageal varices is 0.78(p-value-≤0.001)
  • 4. clinicsofoncology.com 4 Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article Table 1: Baseline characteristics of the population included in the study (n-273) Study population n (%) 43.5±12.5 Mean age (years±S.D) Gender Male 168(61.5) Female 10538.5) Hemoglobin(g/dL) 10.8±2.1 10.8±2.1 Total Leucocyte Count(x109/L) 4.5±2.4 4.5±2.4 Platelet Count(x109/L) 74.8±40.3 74.8±40.3 Total Bilirubin(mg/dl) 1.3±0.75 1.3±0.75 Alkaline Phosphatase(IU/L) 190±187 190±187 Aspartate Transaminase(AST)(IU/L) 59±52 59±52 Alanine Transaminase(ALT)(IU/L) 45±34 45±34 Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT)(IU/L) 74±59 74±59 Child Turcotte Pugh Score A 180(65.9) B 93(34.1) MELD score 10.9±3.4 Esophageal varices Present 199(72.9) Absent 74(27.1) Liaoning score 0.79±0.57 Table 2: Comparison of continuous variables in terms of presence of esophageal varices Variable No Varices (n-74) Mean ± SD Esophageal varices present (n-199) Mean ± SD Mean ± SD Age 45.6± 14.7 42.6 ± 11.4 0.089 Hemoglobin(g/dL) 11.5 ±2.01 10.1 ± 2.7 0.02 Total Leucocyte Count(x109/L) 6.8± 2.7 3.7 ±2.5 ≤0.001 Platelet Count(x109/L) 129.4 ± 27.3 54.4 ± 20.4 ≤0.001 Total Bilirubin(mg/dl) 0.92± 0.72 1.5 ±0.75 ≤0.001 Alkaline Phosphatase(IU/L) 53±104 204± 208 0.043 Aspartate Transaminase(AST)(IU/L) 46±`23 64±59 0.008 Alanine Transaminase(ALT)(IU/L) 38±20 48±37 0.04 Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase(GGT)(IU/L) 65±51 98±70 ≤0.001 Serum Albumin(g/dL) 3.5±0.56 3.3±0.64 0.013 International normalized ratio(INR) 1.1±0.4 1.2±0.19 ≤0.001 CTP score 6.1 ± 1.1 6.2± 1.2 0.901 MELD Score 10.2±4.3 11.3 ±3.6 ≤0.001 Liaoning score 0.52± 0.67 0.89± 0.5 ≤0.001
  • 5. clinicsofoncology.com 5 Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article Table 3: Comparison of categorical variables in terms of presence of esophageal varices Variable Esophageal varices present (n-199) n (%) No Varices (n-74) n (%) p-value Gender Male 115(68.4) 53(50) ≤0.001 Female 84(31.6) 21(50) CTP score A 130(56.1) 51(82.4) ≤0.001 B 69(43.9) 23(17.6) Ascites Present 15 17 0.001 Absent 180 57 Liaoning score <0.55 6(94.7) 57(38.2) ≤0.001 ≥0.55 193(5.3) 17(61.8) Table 4: Diagnostic accuracy of Liaoning score in predicting esophageal varices Statistics Percentage Sensitivity 96.98% Specificity 77.03% Positive Predictive Value 91.90% Negative Predictive Value 90.48% Diagnostic Accuracy 91.58% 4. Discussion Liver cirrhosis leads to portal hypertension, which is most com- monly manifested as esophageal varices [1]. Therefore, all clinical consensus recommend varietal screening at the time of diagnosis of liver cirrhosis [10]. This methodology will help in identifying those patients who can benefit either from non-selective beta-blockers therapy or endoscopic treatment. However, due to its cost and in- vasiveness, endoscopy is generally avoided by the patients [11, 12]. Currently, multiple non-invasive scores have been utilized for the prediction of esophageal varices and portal hypertension [13-16]. One of these scores include the Liaoning score that has been uti- lized in the Chinese population for the prediction of esophageal varices [17]. Chinese study done by Li Q et al., [20] comprised of 612 patients and had an AUROC of 0.734 in prediction of EVs .They used a cut off of 0.487 with a sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 81.96%, 65.22%, 98.1%, and 14.3%, respectively. While in our study, we included a total of 273 patients who were HCV posi- tive and were newly diagnosed to have cirrhosis on the basis of ul- trasound abdomen. The AUROC obtained for Liaoning score was 0.78, which was slightly higher in our population as compared to that of the Chinese population with an excellent sensitivity (96.8% vs 81.96%),far better specificity(77% vs 65.22%),an excellent PPV (91.9% vs 98.1%) and NPV(90.48% vs 14.3%) respectively in pre- dicting EVs. Low platelet count in cirrhotic patients is likely due to hyper splen- ism that can be attributed to portal hypertension secondary to ad- vanced liver fibrosis in these patients [21]. In the previous as well as in our study as well, low platelet count was significantly associated with the presence of esophageal varices (54.4 vs 129.4) (p≤0.001) but utility of platelet count alone as a marker of predictor of EVs is yet to be established as multiple other diseases can result in throm- bocytopenia [22]. BAVENO VII has utilized the combination of liver stiffness and thrombocytopenia for prediction of esophageal varices in newly diagnosed cirrhotics [10]. Previously, meta-analysis has shown the utility of different bed side scores in the prediction of EVs in compensated cirrhosis [23]. However, Liaoning score is the first non-invasive bedside score for the prediction of EVs in the patients with ascites. Li et al., [20] re- vealed that the performance of Liaoning score was far better than the other non-invasive scores for the prediction of EVs in decom- pensated cirrhosis. There are certain limitations to our study. First of all, only patients with hepatitis C associated chronic liver disease were enrolled and our sample size was low as compared to the other studies done in this regard. Secondly, we did not evaluate the utility of this score in prediction of EVs in cirrhotic patients presenting with hemate- mesis or Melena. Third, we did not compare the diagnostic utility of Liaoning score with other non-invasive available scores in our
  • 6. clinicsofoncology.com 6 Volume 6 Issue 9 -2022 Review Article population. The strength of the study was that it was the first study that utilized the non-invasive score in the prediction of EVs in decompensated cirrhosis in our population. Secondly, it was a prospective study. 5. Conclusion Liaoning score can be utilized for the prediction of EVs in cirrhotic patients especially those with decompensated cirrhosis. However, further studies with large sample size are required to validate the score and its comparison with other scores in predicting EVs . References 1. Shung DL, Garcia-Tsao. Liver Capsule: Portal hypertension and var- ices: pathogenesis, stages, and management. Hepatology. 2017; 65: 1038. 2. Chakinala RC, Kumar A, Barsa JE, Mehta D, Haq KF, Solanki S, et al., Downhill esophageal varices: a therapeutic dilemma. Ann Transl Med. 2018; 6: 463. 3. Iwakiri Y. Pathophysiology of portal hypertension. Clin Liver Dis. 2014; 18: 281–91. 4. El-Tawil AM. 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