• Users Online: 134
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 
Table of Contents
EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Application of ultrasound liver elastography to the diagnosis and monitoring of liver disease


Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Date of Submission10-Aug-2018
Date of Acceptance28-Sep-2018
Date of Web Publication18-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jing-Houng Wang
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung
Taiwan
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JMU.JMU_108_18

Get Permissions


How to cite this article:
Wang JH. Application of ultrasound liver elastography to the diagnosis and monitoring of liver disease. J Med Ultrasound 2019;27:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Wang JH. Application of ultrasound liver elastography to the diagnosis and monitoring of liver disease. J Med Ultrasound [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Apr 11];27:1-2. Available from: http://www.jmuonline.org/text.asp?2019/27/1/1/254500

It is clinically important to assess the degree of hepatic injury in addition to the clinical diagnosis of underlying liver diseases. Fibrotic deposits represent the response of liver tissue to damage, and the degree of hepatic fibrosis is an important prognostic indicator and therapeutic target in liver diseases. Invasive liver biopsy has been the golden standard for the assessment of the degree of hepatic fibrosis with hazard. Non-invasive assessments have been widely used to assess the degree of hepatic fibrosis instead of liver biopsy. Ultrasound elastography has been the recent interest for the clinical assessment of hepatic fibrosis. Ultrasound elastography technology involves the use of a machinery to generate shear waves in the vicinity of hepatic tissue and then the monitoring the propagation of the shear waves. A mild external force can also be applied to the liver tissue for the monitoring of degree of strain. Then ultrasound devices can calculate the speed of the shear waves and the degree of strain, and convert these data into ultrasound images to determine the elasticity of the liver tissue. Current elastography determining shear wave speed include Transient Elastography (TE), Acoustic Radiation Force Imaging (ARFI), Point Shearwave Elastography (SWE), and Two-dimensional SWE[1],[2] [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Ultrasound liver elastography: (a) transient elastography. (b) Acoustic radiation force impulse. (c) Two-dimensional shear-wave elastography. (d) Strain-based elastography

Click here to view


Various researches have shown a good correlation between the hepatic elasticity and the degree of hepatic fibrosis; therefore, elastography is widely used in the clinical assessment of hepatic fibrosis. Recent reports indicate that ultrasound elastography is helpful in the diagnose cirrhosis and severe hepatic fibrosis with a high level of accuracy. However, ultrasound elastography is only moderately accurate in the assessment of mild-to-moderate hepatic fibrosis. In our studies, the accuracy of TE was as high as 90% and 93% in the diagnosis of cirrhosis in patients having chronic hepatitis B and C. The studies from the China Medical University, Taiwan, showed that the accuracy of ARFI was 83% in the diagnose cirrhosis in patients having chronic hepatitis C.[3],[4] All current international guidelines recommend the use of ultrasound elastography to assess the degree of hepatic fibrosis.[5],[6] Apart from chronic hepatitis B and C, ultrasound elastography has also been used to assess the degree of hepatic fibrosis in other chronic liver diseases such as alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver, primary cholestatic liver disease, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. However, it is necessary to adjust the values of elasticity with factors including food intake, hepatic inflammation, bile duct blockage, heart failure, and other relevant factors during the interpretation of degree of hepatic fibrosis.

The screening of gastric and esophageal varices is clinically important for the prevention of high risk hemorrhage. However, the gastroscopic examination is invasive and is poorly tolerated by patients. Therefore, it is reasonable to use some non-invasive screening methods instead. The earlier researches proved a positive correlation between hepatic elasticity and portal hypertension; and portal hypertension was correlated with the occurrence of gastric and esophageal varices in cirrhotic patients. Our data show that a cut-off value of 21 kPa can effectively eliminate the need for gastroscopic examination in cirrhotic patients.[7] Whereas recent international guidelines recommended a TE elasticity of 20 kPa and platelet count of 150,000 as threshold values.[5],[6] Patients having less hepatic elasticity and higher indicates platelet count than the recommended values are not required to take invasive gastroscopic examination. Therefore, the use of ultrasound elastography can reduce the number of invasive gastroscopic examination by 20%-30%. Furthermore, 3%-5% of cirrhotic patients having high risk gastric and esophageal varices do not need preventive treatment against hemorrhage.[8]

The major benefit of noninvasive ultrasound elastography is that the examinations can be readily repeated; a method helpful for the long-term monitoring. Follow-up ultrasound elastography had been studied for the role of antiviral therapy on the chronic viral hepatitis. In the initial stage of antiviral therapy, the rapid improvement of liver elasticity was mainly attributed to the resolution of hepatic necrosis and edema; whereas the long-term improvement indicated the reduction of hepatic fibrosis in response to the discontinued hepatic injury under antiviral therapy. Our follow-up data among patients with chronic viral hepatitis B and C showed that patients had higher values of hepatic elasticity before antiviral therapy. It is interesting that patients with obesity and diabetes mellitus also had higher values of hepatic elasticity before antiviral therapy; but, they had only less improvement of liver elasticity during or after antiviral therapy. The hepatic elasticity of some patients with much more obesity were even worse during or after antiviral therapy.

Earlier reports for long-term series ultrasound elastography suggested that patients with higher hepatic elasticity were much more likely to develope liver cancer, portal hypertension, gastric and esophageal varices or hemorrhage, hepatic decompensation, and mortality.[9],[10] Thus, ultrasound elastography is helpful in the prediction of prognosis. Non-invasive ultrasound elastography will be much more widely used clinically in the future.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Dietrich CF, Bamber J, Berzigotti A, Bota S, Cantisani V, Castera L, et al. EFSUMB guidelines and recommendations on the clinical use of liver ultrasound elastography, update 2017 (Long version). Ultraschall Med 2017;38:e16-e47.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
European Association for Study of Liver, Asociacion Latinoamericana para el Estudio del Higado. EASL-ALEH clinical practice guidelines: Non-invasive tests for evaluation of liver disease severity and prognosis. J Hepatol 2015;63:237-64.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Wang JH, Changchien CS, Hung CH, Eng HL, Tung WC, Kee KM, et al. FibroScan and ultrasonography in the prediction of hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. J Gastroenterol 2009;44:439-46.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Chen SH, Li YF, Lai HC, Kao JT, Peng CY, Chuang PH, et al. Effects of patient factors on noninvasive liver stiffness measurement using acoustic radiation force impulse elastography in patients with chronic hepatitis C. BMC Gastroenterol 2012;12:105.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
European Association for the Study of the Liver. Electronic address: easloffice@easloffice.eu, European Association for the Study of the Liver. EASL recommendations on treatment of hepatitis C 2018. J Hepatol 2018;69:461-511.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Terrault NA, Lok AS, McMahon BJ, Chang KM, Hwang JP, Jonas MM, et al. Update on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic hepatitis B: AASLD 2018 hepatitis B guidance. Hepatology 2018;67:1560-99.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Wang JH, Chuah SK, Lu SN, Hung CH, Chen CH, Kee KM, et al. Transient elastography and simple blood markers in the diagnosis of esophageal varices for compensated patients with hepatitis B virus-related cirrhosis. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012;27:1213-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Garcia-Tsao G, Abraldes JG, Berzigotti A, Bosch J. Portal hypertensive bleeding in cirrhosis: Risk stratification, diagnosis, and management: 2016 Practice Guidance by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Hepatology 2017;65:310-35.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Wang JH, Chuah SK, Lu SN, Hung CH, Kuo CM, Tai WC, et al. Baseline and serial liver stiffness measurement in prediction of portal hypertension progression for patients with compensated cirrhosis. Liver Int 2014;34:1340-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Singh S, Fujii LL, Murad MH, Wang Z, Asrani SK, Ehman RL, et al. Liver stiffness is associated with risk of decompensation, liver cancer, and death in patients with chronic liver diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013;11:1573-840.  Back to cited text no. 10
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1]


This article has been cited by
1 Whatęs new in hepatic steatosis
Mayur Virarkar,Janio Szklaruk,Melissa W. Taggart,Priya Bhosale
Seminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI. 2021;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Timely diagnosis and staging of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease using transient elastography and clinical parameters
Christine Shieh,Dina L Halegoua-De Marzio,Matthew L Hung,Jonathan M Fenkel,Steven K Herrine
JGH Open. 2020;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Extensive periportal fibrosis due to hepatic iron overload masquerading as mass lesions in a beta-thalassemia major patient: Sonological appearances
Reddy Ravikanth,DenverSteven Pinto,Pooja Majumdar
Apollo Medicine. 2020; 17(2): 124
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Advances in Imaging of Diffuse Parenchymal Liver Disease
Maryam Ghadimi,Roya Rezvani Habibabadi,Bita Hazhirkarzar,Mohammadreza Shaghaghi,Sanaz Ameli,Pegah Khoshpouri,Mounes Aliyari Ghasabeh,Ahmet Gurakar,Timothy M. Pawlik,Ihab R. Kamel
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2020; 54(8): 682
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 The liver matrisome, looking beyond collagens
Gavin E. Arteel,Alexandra Naba
JHEP Reports. 2020; : 100115
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article
References
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed1861    
    Printed92    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded387    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 5    

Recommend this journal