EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines

Preamble

These recommendations provide a data-supported approach. They are based on the following: (1) formal review and analysis of the recently published world literature on the topic; (2) guideline policies covered by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases/European Association for the Study of the Liver (AASLD/EASL) Policy on the Joint Development and Use of Practice Guidelines; and (3) the experience of the authors in the specified topic.

Intended for use by physicians, these recommendations suggest preferred approaches to the diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive aspects of care. They are intended to be flexible, in contrast to standards of care, which are inflexible policies to be followed in every case. Specific recommendations are based on relevant published information.

To more fully characterize the available evidence supporting the recommendations, the AASLD/EASL Practice Guidelines Subcommittee has adopted the classification used by the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) workgroup, with minor modifications (Table 1). The classifications and recommendations are based on three categories: the source of evidence in levels I through III; the quality of evidence designated by high (A), moderate (B), or low quality (C); and the strength of recommendations classified as strong (1) or weak (2).

Table 1
GRADE system for evidence.