Rapid change of liver stiffness after variceal ligation and TIPS implantation

2017 American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal a In Press;(ajpgi 00239 02017)

Liver stiffness (LS) as measured by transient elastography is widely used to screen for liver fibrosis. However, LS also increases in response to pressure changes like congestion but no data on portal pressure are available. We here study the effect of rapid portal pressure changes on LS. Therefore, LS was assessed directly prior and after ligation of esophageal varices (n=11) as well as TIPS implantation in patients with established cirrhosis (n=14). Additionally, we retrospectively analyzed changes in LS and variceal size in patients with sequential gastroscopic monitoring and LS measurements (n=14). To study LS and portal pressure in healthy livers, LS (microFibroscan, Echosens, Paris) and invasive pressures (Powerlab, AD Instruments, New Zealand) were assessed in male Wistar rats after ligation of single liver lobes. Ligation of esophageal varices caused an immediate and significant increase of LS from 40.3+/-19.0 to 56.1+/-21.5 kPa. Likewise, LS decreased significantly from 53.1+/-16.6 to 43.8+/-17.3 kPa after TIPS placement which correlated significantly with portal pressure (r=0.558). In the retrospective cohort, the significant LS decrease from 54.9+/-23.5 to 47.9+/-23.8 kPa over a mean observation interval of 4.3+/-3 months was significantly correlated with a concomitant increase of variceal size (r=-0.605). In the animal model, LS and portal pressure increased significantly after single lobe ligation without changes of arterial or central venous pressure. In conclusion, rapid changes of portal pressure are a strong modulator of LS in healthy and cirrhotic organs. In patients with stable cirrhosis according to MELD, a decrease of LS may be indicative for enlarging varices.

Pubmed : 29051188