Transient elastography for liver fibrosis diagnosis

2009 European Journal of Internal Medicine 20;4 (339-342)

Liver biopsy is considered the "golden standard" for assessment of hepatic fibrosis. However, the procedure has limitations because of inconvenience and rare but serious complications as bleeding. Furthermore, sampling errors are frequent, and interobserver variability often poses problems. Recently, a modified ultrasound scanner (transient elastography) has been developed to assess fibrosis. The device measures liver elasticity, which correlates well with the degree of fibrosis. Studies have shown that transient elastography is more accurate in diagnosing cirrhosis than minor to moderate fibrosis. Most of the studies have been conducted on patients with chronic hepatitis but a few studies have also covered fibrosis and cirrhosis due to other etiologies, and they also demonstrate the high sensitivity and specificity. Transient elastography for assessment of fibrosis may turn out to be a valuable diagnostic procedure and follow-up of patients with chronic liver diseases.

Pubmed : 19524169