Ultrasound elastography in liver

2013 Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging 94;5 (515-534)

Conventional imaging techniques cannot provide information about tissue mechanical properties. Many injuries can cause changes in tissue stiffness, especially tumors and fibrosis. In recent years, various non-invasive ultrasound methods have been developed to study tissue elasticity for a large number of applications (breast, thyroid, prostate, kidneys, blood vessels, liver...). For non-invasive assessment of liver diseases, several ultrasound elastography techniques have been investigated: Transient elastography (the most extensively used), Real Time Elastography (RTE), Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging (ARFI) and more recently Shear Wave Elastography (SWE). Even if evaluation of liver fibrosis in chronic liver disease remains the principal application, there are many others applications for liver: predicting cirrhosis-related complications; monitoring antiviral treatments in chronic viral liver disease; characterizing liver tumors; monitoring local treatments, etc. The aim of this article is to report on the different hepatic ultrasound elastography techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, their diagnostic accuracy, their applications in clinical practice.

Pubmed : 23623211