The accuracy of liver biopsy to stage fibrosis due to Fontan associated liver disease (FALD) remains unclear. We compared results of biopsy pre-combined heart and liver transplantation (CHLT) to results of whole liver explant. Liver biopsy and explants from 15 Fontan patients (ages 16 - 49, median 28 years) were retrospectively reviewed. Staging was as follows: stage 0: no fibrosis, stage 1: pericellular fibrosis, stage 2: bridging fibrosis, stage 3: regenerative nodules. There is no stage 4. Clinical characteristics including Model of End-stage Liver Disease eXcluding INR and Varices, Ascites, Splenomegaly, and Thrombocytopenia (VAST) scores were collected, and descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U tests used to analyze data. All patients had biopsies with at least bridging fibrosis, and all had nodularity on explant; transjugular biopsy never overestimated fibrosis. Explant showed higher grade fibrosis (Stage 3) than pre-CHLT biopsy (Stage 2) in 6 of 15 patients and equal grade of fibrosis (Stage 3) in 9 of 15 patients. Though clinical characteristics varied significantly, VAST score was = 2 in all but two patients. Transjugular liver biopsy does not overestimate and can underestimate fibrosis in Fontan patients undergoing CHLT, likely due to the patchy nature of fibrosis in FALD.
View details for DOI 10.1111/ctr.14120
View details for PubMedID 33053213