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Read Now: TheBodyPRO.com Covers AIDS 2014

Canadian Physicians Reveal Their Choices for Assessing Liver Fibrosis

January 28, 2014

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Results -- Focus on Who Responded

A total of 237 doctors were invited to participate in the survey. Of those, 104 doctors (44%) chose to do so. The responding doctors had the following organizational affiliations:

  • CAG members -- 80%
  • CTN members -- 20%

Respondents consisted of 80% men and 20% women.

Other features of the responding doctors were as follows:

Speciality

  • Gastroenterology -- 64%
  • Hepatology (liver specialty) -- 16%
  • Infectious diseases -- 10%
  • Other specialties (family medicine, internal medicine) -- 10%
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Clinic location

  • University-based hospital -- 51%
  • Community hospital or clinic -- 28%
  • Private practice -- 21%

Distribution of respondents by province:

  • Ontario -- 40%
  • Quebec -- 37%
  • British Columbia -- 10%
  • Alberta -- 7%
  • Rest of Canada -- 7%

Types of chronic liver disease treated by the surveyed doctors:

  • NAFLD -- 84%
  • Autoimmune liver disease -- 81%
  • ALD -- 80%
  • HCV infection -- 79%
  • HBV infection -- 67%
  • HIV and HCV and/or HBV co-infection -- 32%

The proportion of physicians who routinely assessed the liver fibrosis of patients by condition was as follows:

  • HCV -- 77%
  • Autoimmune liver disease -- 60%
  • HBV -- 53%
  • NAFLD -- 44%
  • ALD -- 40%
  • HIV co-infection -- 32%


Choice of Tools

The tool most commonly used to assess liver fibrosis was liver biopsy, used by 46% of physicians. This was followed by Fibroscan, used by 39% and Fibrotest, used by 8% of doctors.

The researchers found that overall, the use of non-invasive methods of assessing liver injury reduced the need for liver biopsy by 43%.

Older physicians, hepatologists and infectious disease specialists were more likely to use non-invasive methods than younger doctors. Also, physicians who worked out of a university-based hospital or private practice were more likely to use non-invasive methods.

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This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. It is a part of the publication CATIE News. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 

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