Background & Aims: Several strategies are available for detecting cirrhosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but their cost effectiveness is not clear. We developed a decision model to quantify the accuracy and costs of 9 single or combination strategies, including 3 noninvasive tests (fibrosis-4 [FIB-4], vibration-controlled transient elastography [VCTE], and magnetic resonance elastography [MRE]) and liver biopsy, for the detection of cirrhosis in patients with NAFLD. Methods: Data on the diagnostic accuracy, costs, adverse events, and cirrhosis outcomes over a 5-year period were obtained from publications. The diagnostic accuracy, per-patient cost per correct diagnosis of cirrhosis, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated for each strategy for base cirrhosis prevalence values of 0.27%, 2%, and 4%. Results: The combination of the FIB-4 and VCTE identified patients with cirrhosis in NAFLD populations with a 0.27%, 2%, and 4% prevalence of cirrhosis with the lowest cost per person ($401, $690, and $1024, respectively) and highest diagnostic accuracy (89.3%, 88.5%, and 87.5% respectively). The combination of FIB-4 and MRE ranked second in cost per person ($491, $781, and $1114, respectively) and diagnostic accuracy (92.4%, 91.6%, 90.6%, respectively). Compared with the combination of FIB-4 and VCTE (least costly), the ICERs were lower for the combination of FIB-4 and MRE ($2864, $2918, and $2921) than the combination of FIB-4 and liver biopsy ($4454, $5156, and $5956) at the cirrhosis prevalence values tested. When the goal was to avoid liver biopsy, FIB-4 + VCTE and FIB-4 + MRE had similar diagnostic accuracies, ranging from 87.5% to 89.3% and 90.6% to 92.4% for a cirrhosis diagnosis, respectively, although FIB-4 + MRE had a slightly higher cost. Conclusions: In our cost-effectiveness analysis based on the US health care system, we found that results from FIB-4, followed by either VCTE, MRE, or liver biopsy, detect cirrhosis in patients with NAFLD with a high level of accuracy and low cost. Compared with FIB-4 + VCTE, which was the least costly strategy, FIB-4 + MRE had a lower ICER than FIB-4 + LB.
ASJC Scopus subject areas