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Table 1 Serum biomarkers and imaging techniques for the detection of liver fibrosis: A summary of the features

From: Non-Invasive markers for hepatic fibrosis

Feature Serum biomarkers Imaging techniques
Invasiveness Minimal (venopuction) None
Sensitivity to sampling error Minimal Some
Interpretability of the test High, if instructions are closely followed Depends on experience of operator
Costs per test Depend on a type of the test, but generally comparable with tests for serum insulin Depends on the cost of equipment: highest for MRI. lowest for ARFI
Limitations imposed by anthropometric features None For TE and ARFI: width of the inter-costal space, the presence of ascites, the body mass index of patient and presence of visceral adiposity
For MRI: fitting within the magnetic bore, severe hemochromatosis, claustrophobia
Possibility of multiplexing Possible, but often hard to implement Not applicable
Suitability for longitudinal monitoring High High
Accuracy for the prediction of cirrhosis Moderate-to-High High
Accuracy for the prediction of adjacent stages of fibrosis Low-to-Moderate Low-to-Moderate
Interference by necroinflammatory activity and steatosis Variable depending on the type of the test Detectable for TE and ARFI