The role of transient elastography in patients with hepatitis B viral disease

2011 Digestive & Liver Disease 43 Suppl 1;(S25-31)

This review focuses on the role of ultrasound and transient elastography (TE) in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Among the ultrasonographic signs analyzed, liver surface nodularity has the highest diagnostic accuracy and is particularly useful in confirming the presence of severe fibrosis or cirrhosis, due to its high specificity. The role of TE in patients with hepatitis B virus disease was assessed in inactive carriers and patients with chronic liver disease (CHB). In inactive HBV carriers, mean TE values are similar to normal controls and significantly lower than in patients with CHB. In this latter group, the available studies showed a significant positive correlation between TE values and fibrosis stages at liver histology. However, as for HCV patients, there is a certain degree of overlap among the lower stages of hepatic fibrosis and the accuracy of this technique is not optimal for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis, whereas its diagnostic performances are higher for the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. The development of diagnostic algorithms, with a confirmatory and an exclusion liver stiffness threshold, seems to be a promising tool for a correct classification of patients.

Pubmed : 21195369