In a validation study at Netherland, itt was found that liver elasticity was highly correlated with histological fibrosis stage (correlations coefficient 0.73, P < 0.001). Based on LSM, 18% of patients with bleeding disorders and chronic hepatitis C had severe fibrosis, and 17% had cirrhosis after 34 years of infection (range 14-40). However, the prevalence of cirrhosis based on laboratory and ultrasonographic findings was only 7%. Independent risk factors for an increase in LSM were older age at infection, higher body mass index, presence of viral co-infection, and male gender. Fifteen out of 59 patients (25%) with an apparent indication for treatment (significant fibrosis by LSM) agreed to start antiviral therapy within 3 months.