Ultrasound Elastography Used for Preventive Non-Invasive Screening in Early Detection of Liver Fibrosis

Florian Bert, Jona T. Stahmeyer, Siegbert Rossol


Background: Early discovery of liver fibrosis is becoming more popular because of enhanced incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. Ultrasound-based liver elastography is a method used to approve suspected liver fibrosis or cirrhosis. We assessed the clinical usefulness of acoustic radiation force impulse shear wave elasticity imaging (ARFI-SWEI) as a preventive screening method to uncover fibrosis.

Methods: We screened 382 patients by native routine sonography for abnormal liver results and divided them into six groups: group 1: normal liver, groups 2-4: fatty liver grade I-III, group 5: liver cirrhosis, and group 6: inhomogenic liver tissue. Then ARFI-SWEI was performed and the results were compared with published shear wave velocity cut-off values that were predictive of each fibrosis stage (F0-4). A control group consisted of 20 healthy volunteers.

Results: The part of liver fibrosis ? F2 was in groups 1-4: 20-32%, group 5: 100%, and group 6: 91%. Main causes for fibrosis stage ? F2 were (non)-alcoholic steatohepatitis, chronic viral or autoimmune hepatitis and chronic heart failure.

Conclusions: Screening of the liver tissue in b-mode ultrasound can underestimate possible liver fibrosis; by using ARFI-SWEI, liver fibrosis can be uncovered early. It is a suitable preventive method comparable to colonoscopy for colon cancer.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(9):650-655
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2625w


Ultrasound; Liver fibrosis; Elastography; ARFI

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