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Thứ Bảy, 7 tháng 4, 2018

NAFLD and Ultrasound Elastography

An increasingly common cause of chronic liver disease in adults and children is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The diagnosis of NAFLD was traditionally based on the histopathological changes of the liver, evaluated by needle liver biopsy, an invasive method, with potential adverse effects and great inter and intraobserver variability. The noninvasive methods for the assessment of both fibrosis and steatosis in patients with NAFLD have increasingly been studied lately. Of these noninvasive methods, in this chapter, we will focus on the methods assessing the stiffness of liver parenchyma, i.e. elastographic methods, of which, the most widely used are ultrasound elastography techniques. We will discuss the principal elastographic methods of some utility in NAFLD, i.e. shear wdave elastography (SWE) (quantitative elastography), and especially transient elastography, point SWE (acoustic radiation force impulse elastography, ARFI) and two-dimensional real-time SWE (Supersonic). For each method usable in NAFLD cases, we will review the method principle, examination technique and performance in NAFLD evaluation.
Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, fibrosis, steatosis, noninvasive, elastography

SSI, Fibroscan® or ARFI?

After comparing the performance in the assessment of NAFLD of the three elastographic methods discussed above, we can conclude, on the preliminary results, that the diagnostic performance according to the AUROC values for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis and cirrhosis is good for SSI (0.86–0.89); good for Fibroscan® (0.82–0.87) and fair or good for ARFI (0.77–0.84) . The AUROC values for diagnosing severe fibrosis or cirrhosis are particularly good for SSI or Fibroscan® (0.86 and 0.89) [50]. The prediction of steatosis, however, can at this moment only be made using the controlled attenuation parameter measured with Fibroscan®. As for the causes of measurement failure or unreliable results, we mention clinical factors related to obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2 , waist circumference ≥ 102 cm or increased wall thickness), which are associated with liver stiffness measurement failures when using SSI or Fibroscan® and with unreliable results when using ARFI [50]. In conclusion, SSI, Fibroscan® and ARFI are valuable diagnostic tools for the staging of liver fibrosis in NAFLD patients. However, the diagnostic accuracy of SSI appears to be superior to that of ARFI for the diagnosis of F2 or above. Most of the cut-off values for SSI for the diagnosis of different stages of liver disease are quite similar to those of Fibroscan®; this is an issue of great importance for the applicability of this technique and its wide dissemination among radiologists and hepatologists in their daily practice. However, as for the M probe of Fibroscan®, the SSI technique remains limited by a high failure rate in cases of obesity, whereas ARFI has a high rate of unreliable results.

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