Clinical significance of measuring hepatic venous pressure gradient on transjugular liver biopsy for patients with pre-cirrhotic bridging fibrosis liver disease

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clinical imaging






Advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD); Bridging fibrosis; Clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH); Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG); Transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB)


PURPOSE: To demonstrate that patients with pre-cirrhotic bridging fibrosis (Meta-analysis of Histological Data in Viral Hepatitis, METAVIR stage F3) and clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH, Hepatic Venous Pressure Gradient ≥10 mmHg) experience a higher rate of clinical decompensation than patients without CSPH. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 128 consecutive patients with pathology proven bridging fibrosis without cirrhosis between 2012 and 2019 were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were patients with HVPG measurement obtained during the same outpatient transjugular liver biopsy and clinical follow up of at least two years. Primary endpoint included rate of overall complication related to portal hypertension including evidence of either ascites, presence of varices on imaging or endoscopy, or evidence of hepatic encephalopathy. RESULTS: Among 128 patients with bridging fibrosis (67 females and 61 males; average age 56 years), 42 (33%) and 86 (67%) were with and without CSPH (HVPG ≥10 mmHg). Median follow-up time was 4 years. Rate of overall complication (either ascites, varices or hepatic encephalopathy) in patients with and without CSPH was 36/42 (86%) and 39/86 (45%) (p < .001) respectively. Rate of developing ascites, varices and hepatic encephalopathy in patients with and without CSPH was 21/42 (50%) vs 26/86 (30%) (p = .034), 32/42 (76%) vs 26/86 (30%) (p ≤ .001) and 18/42 (43%) vs 12/86 (14%) (p = .001) respectively. CONCLUSION: Patients with pre-cirrhotic bridging fibrosis and CSPH were associated with higher rates of developing ascites, varices and hepatic encephalopathy. Measuring HVPG during transjugular liver biopsy provides additional prognostic value in anticipating clinical decompensation in patients with pre-cirrhotic bridging fibrosis.