Normal liver stiffness and its determinants in healthy blood donors

2011 Digestive & Liver Disease 43;3 (231-236)

BACKGROUND: Several studies in healthy populations have investigated normal liver stiffness on transient elastography, but none has excluded subjects with fatty liver. AIMS: To define normal liver stiffness and its determinants in 923 healthy voluntary blood donors with and without fatty liver. METHODS: Seven hundred and forty six subjects were analyzed with transient elastography according to the absence (602) or presence of fatty liver (144) at ultrasonography. The cut-off for significant fibrosis was a liver stiffness of 7.9kPa. RESULTS: Normal subjects had significantly lower liver stiffness (median 4.4kPa) than fatty liver subjects (median 5.3, p7.9kPa. Subjects with verified liver stiffness >7.9kPa, were further investigated with liver biopsy or non-invasive fibrosis markers: only 1 patient with fatty liver had >F1 fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS: Liver stiffness in normal liver is lower than in fatty liver, and gender is the only influencing variable. Transient elastography has a very low false positive rate for significant fibrosis and may have a role in screening populations at risk for liver disease.

Pubmed : 20817625