Liver and spleen elastography using supersonic shear imaging for the non-invasive diagnosis of cirrhosis severity and oesophageal varices



      Elastography is a promising non-invasive approach for assessing liver fibrosis. We assessed diagnostic performances of liver and spleen stiffness using supersonic shear imaging for diagnosing cirrhosis severity and oesophageal varices.


      401 consecutive cirrhotic patients were prospectively enrolled from November 2012 to March 2014. All patients underwent liver and spleen stiffness measurement with supersonic shear imaging and Fibroscan.


      Failures of measurement were 6.2% and 29.2% for liver and spleen stiffness (supersonic shear imaging), and 18.4% for liver stiffness (Fibroscan). Liver and spleen stiffness were correlated with severity of cirrhosis, with values increasing according to Child–Pugh subclasses and presence of complications. With a negative predictive value ≥90%, liver stiffness cut-offs for high-risk oesophageal varices, history of ascites, Child–Pugh B/C, variceal bleeding and clinical decompensation were 12.8, 19, 21.4, 30.5, and 39.4 kPa, respectively. Areas under the curve of spleen and liver stiffness (supersonic shear imaging), and liver stiffness (Fibroscan) were 0.80, 0.77 and 0.73 respectively for detection of oesophageal varices.


      Liver stiffness using supersonic shear imaging is a relevant diagnostic tool for assessing cirrhosis severity and its complications. Spleen stiffness shows promising results for the detection of oesophageal varices but is not yet sufficiently robust for clinical practice owing to high failure rates.


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