Design of the
studies differed with variation in recruitment methods and inclusion criteria. All patients had to have had a biopsy (from inclusion criteria) which could introduce verification bias compared to those patients with excess alcohol consumption not selected for biopsy having a different disease severity than those who were selected. Only four studies reported any parameters by which biopsy quality could be judged, and half of these reported findings stratified by biopsy quality. Even when the tests were similar between studies, the thresholds used were different or not reported. Direct comparison between studies was made more difficult by the use of a range of fibrosis staging systems, largely locally generated. There was heterogeneity learn more and lack of standardization of analytical methods used for the markers measurements and as these different assays may not be well correlated, external validity may be reduced and the determination of a single generalisable threshold remains problematic for those markers assayed locally. Access and availability of serum markers using commercial automated platforms may address this issue. There was incomplete reporting of co-morbidities and diagnostic
test results, making appraisal and summative assessment difficult. The paucity of studies which looked at direct comparisons between panels, BIBF 1120 clinical trial and between single marker and panels make it difficult to C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR-7) say one panel is more accurate than another. It is clear from this systematic Selleckchem MLN8237 review that the current serum markers are promising, improving and may provide additional diagnostic information in the identification and management of people with ALD. The limitations of this review include lack of data to perform summative analyses and a focus on the ability of diagnostic tests to identify fibrosis alone. Detection of inflammation has not been addressed. Issues of spectrum bias which may have an impact on performance
characteristics of the tests making direct comparisons between studies problematic, and this has not been directly addressed in this review. This is due to several main problems in accounting for such as bias. The first is a lack of a universally accepted system of dealing with this issue, especially in this group of patients with ALD. There have been some methodological suggestions published by one group in chronic Hepatitis C , who have used this method in a study in ALD patients . Authors used standard population of same prevalence for all fibrosis stages and currently it is unclear if this has external validity or international acceptance by professionals working in this field. In addition the studies included in this review are older, use different classification systems for histology and have inconsistent and incomplete reporting of the individual stages of study participants.