[Non-invasive assessment of portal hypertension in patients with liver cirrhosis using FibroScan transient elastography]

2013 Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi 21;11 (840-844)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical value of FibroScan transient elastography for assessing portal hypertension in liver cirrhosis patients by determining the relationship between the liver or spleen stiffness measurement with the imaging parameters of esophageal varices, portal vein width, spleen volume, and splenic vein width. METHODS: A total of 259 patients with liver cirrhosis underwent FibroScan measurement, ultrasound, computed tomography and routine blood analyses. One-hundred-and-one of those patients also underwent endoscopy to diagnose esophageal varices. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated and the areas under the curves (AUCs) were calculated to assess the accuracy of the FibroScan liver and spleen stiffness measurements to predict esophageal varices. Pearson's correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between clinical features. RESULTS: The median liver and spleen stiffness of the cirrhotic patients were 24.27 kPa and 44.64 kPa, respectively. Liver and spleen stiffness increased in conjunction with increases in Child-Pugh score. Liver stiffness was positively correlated with spleen stiffness (P less than 0.05). Liver and spleen stiffness were positively correlated with esophageal varices, portal vein width, spleen thickness, spleen volume, and splenic vein width. The correlation of spleen stiffness was higher than that of liver stiffness. Spleen stiffness was also negatively correlated with white blood cell count and platelet count. Liver and spleen stiffness also increased in conjunction with increased severity of esophageal varices. The AUC of spleen stiffness was higher than that of liver stiffness for predicting esophageal varices (0.804 vs. 0.737). The optimal cut-off level of spleen stiffness was 44.5 kPa (sensitivity: 88%; specificity: 68%). The estimated prevalence of esophageal varices was 97.87% and the optimized cut-off level of liver stiffness was 18.0 kPa. CONCLUSION: FibroScan appears to be a clinically valuable non-invasive method to assess portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients. Both liver and spleen stiffness measurements correlated with portal hypertension but the spleen stiffness measurement may be of higher clinical value.

Pubmed : 24331694