Liver fibrosis in viral hepatitis: noninvasive assessment with acoustic radiation force impulse imaging versus transient elastography

2009 Radiology 252;2 (595-604)

PURPOSE: To compare, in a pilot study, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging technology integrated into a conventional ultrasonography (US) system with both transient elastography (TE) and serologic fibrosis marker testing for the noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Informed consent was obtained from all subjects, and the local ethics committee approved the study. ARFI imaging involved the mechanical excitation of tissue with use of short-duration acoustic pulses to generate localized displacements in tissue. The displacements resulted in shear-wave propagation, which was tracked by using US correlation-based methods and recorded in meters per second. Eighty-six patients with chronic viral hepatitis underwent TE, ARFI imaging, and serum fibrosis marker testing. Results were compared with liver biopsy findings, which served as the reference standard. RESULTS: ARFI imaging (rho = 0.71), TE (rho = 0.73), and serum fibrosis marker test (rho = 0.66) results correlated significantly with histologic fibrosis stage (P or = 2) and 0.91, 0.91, and 0.82, respectively, for the diagnosis of cirrhosis. CONCLUSION: ARFI imaging is a promising US-based method for assessing liver fibrosis in chronic viral hepatitis, with diagnostic accuracy comparable to that of TE in this preliminary study. SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/full/252/2/595/DC1.

Pubmed : 19703889