Transient elastography for assessment of fibrosis in paediatric liver disease

2011 Pediatric Radiology 41;10 (1232-1238)

The prognosis and management of chronic liver diseases in children largely depend on the extent and progression of liver fibrosis, which is often the most important predictor of disease outcome, and thus influences the indication for potential therapy. Unfortunately, liver biopsy continues to be the gold standard for the staging and grading of fibrosis. Liver biopsy is an invasive and painful technique with several limitations. These limitations have led to the development of alternative noninvasive methods for the accurate assessment of fibrosis and for the maintenance of an acceptable risk/benefit ratio. In the last decades, transient elastography (TE) has received increasing consideration as a means of evaluating disease progression in paediatric chronic liver disease. TE is an accurate and reproducible methodology for identifying subjects without fibrosis or significant fibrosis, or with advanced fibrosis. In this review, we provide an outline of liver fibrosis in paediatric liver diseases, including fibrogenesis, and noninvasive techniques for the diagnosis and follow-up of fibrosis, and then focus on the characteristics of TE and on its strength in the assessment of liver fibrosis, paying particular attention to studies conducted in children.

Pubmed : 21678114