Transient Elastography-Based Liver Stiffness Age-Dependently Increases in Children

2016 PLoS ONE 11;11 (e0166683)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Pediatric use of liver transient elastography (TE) is attractive for its non-invasiveness, but reference values have not been established. We aimed to determine reference values for TE in children. METHODS: In pediatric patients (1 to 18 years), TE (FibroScan(R)) with an M probe was used for both liver stiffness measurement (LSM) and measurement of hepatic fat deposition by using a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). The patients were divided into three relevant age groups: preschoolers (1 to 5 years), elementary school children (6 to 11 years), and adolescents (12 to 18 years). Overweight or obese patients or those with known liver disease, elevated serum liver enzymes, or hepatic echogenic abnormality were excluded from the study. RESULTS: Among 139 children, 123 (88.5%; 62 male; median age, 11.7 years; age range, 1.3 to 17.2 years) were successfully subjected to M-probe TE without anesthesia. Median LSM increased with age: it was 3.4 kPa (2.3 to 4.6 kPa, 5th to 95th percentiles) at ages 1 to 5 years; 3.8 (2.5 to 6.1) kPa at ages 6 to 11; and 4.1 (3.3 to 7.9) kPa at ages 12 to 18 (P = 0.001). Median CAP was not age dependent: it was 183 (112 to 242) for ages 1 to 18 years. CONCLUSIONS: M-probe TE is suitable in a wide age range of children from age 1 year up. In children without evidence of liver disease, LSM has an age-dependent increase, whereas CAP does not differ between ages 1 and 18.

Pubmed : 27861607