Ultrasound evaluation of liver stiffness: accuracy of ultrasound imaging for the prediction of liver cirrhosis as evaluated using a liver stiffness measurement

2017 J Med Dent Sci 64;2-3 (27-34)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Because of the low penetration rate of transient elastography (TE) or its limitations in patients with obesity, narrow intercostal spaces, or ascites, the physical appearance of the liver as visualized using ultrasonography (US) is still thought to provide important information for the prediction of liver fibrosis. We examined the accuracy of various US signs when assessing the presence of liver cirrhosis, compared with TE. METHODS: We enrolled 189 patients who had undergone both conventional US and TE examinations. We then assessed the associations between US parameters of the liver (surface, edge, and parenchymal texture) or the US score (sum of each parameter score), and the presence of liver cirrhosis as determined based on a liver stiffness measurement (LSM) of >15. RESULTS: A significant increase in the LSM was observed according to the liver surface score (P 15 for the liver surface, liver edge, parenchymal texture, and the US score were 0.859, 0.768, 0.837, and 0.902, respectively. The AUROC of the US score was higher than that of the APRI score (0.823) or the FIB-4 index (0.804). Using an optimal cut-off value of 3.5, the sensitivity and specificity of the US score were 0.815 and 0.858, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The US score was clinically useful for the diagnosis of an LSM >15. The US score can be used as a substitute for TE data in patients with obesity, narrow intercostal spaces, or ascites or in hospitals where TE is unavailable.