Clinical Application of Liver Stiffness Measurement Using Transient Elastography: A Surgical Perspective

2013 Digestion 88;4 (258-265)

Liver biopsy (LB) remains the gold standard for assessing the severity of liver fibrosis; however, LB is often limited by its invasiveness, sampling error, and intra-/inter-observer variability in histological interpretation. Furthermore, repeated LB examinations within a short time interval are ineligible in real clinical practice. Thus, due to the pressing need for non-invasive surrogates, over the past decade, significant progress has been made in non-invasively assessing liver fibrosis. Of the methods now available, transient elastography (TE) appears to be an excellent tool for assessing liver fibrosis and also has some prognostic value in surgical settings. Recent studies have proposed the extended role of TE in the surgical field, based on the concept that TE values show significant correlations with portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma development. TE appears promising in predicting postoperative short-term outcomes such as hepatic insufficiency or complications and long-term outcomes such as recurrence or liver-related death. Furthermore, TE may be useful in predicting the severity of liver fibrosis progression due to recurrence of hepatitis C virus infection or other underlying liver diseases after transplantation. TE cannot completely replace other tests accompanied with hepatic surgical treatments, including LB, endoscopic examination, hepatic venous pressure gradient evaluation, or the indocyanine green retention test. However, TE represents an important non-invasive tool that enables more efficient and tailored management strategies for patients who were treated with liver resection or transplantation. This review discusses extended TE applications in the surgical setting, such as hepatic resection or transplantation. (c) 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Pubmed : 24335341