Dalia Mitraitė 1, Dovilė Duličiūtė 1, Edita Treiklerytė-Varškienė 2 and Rūta Tatarėlytė 3
1 Department of Radiology, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
2 Department of Family Medicine, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania;
3 Clinical Department of Internal Diseases, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania;
Abstract: Background and objective: Chronic liver disease promotes hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. When diagnosing and treating hepatic diseases such as chronic hepatitis C, it is important to evaluate the degree of liver fibrosis. We aimed to determine the diagnostic capabilities of shear wave elastography (SWE) in patients with liver disease. Materials and methods: Hepatic stiffness, size of liver and spleen, portal vein flow velocity, portal vein diameter and flow pattern of hepatic veins were evaluated in 24 patients with diagnosed liver disease and 15 healthy subjects. All measurements were performed using the Philips ElastPQ SWE. The hepatic stiffness was expressed in kilopascals (kPa). Results: The mean liver stiffness value was 4.18±1.15 kPa in the control group and 16.19±12.31 kPa inpatient group (p<0.001). An optimal SWE cut-off value of 5.51 kPa had predicted 88% sensitivity and 93% specificity for detecting liver fibrosis. The liver stiffness was positively correlated with the portal vein diameter and the flow pattern of hepatic veins (r=0.4, P<0.008), no significant correlation between liver stiffness and the size of the liver, spleen and portal vein flow velocity was found. Conclusions: The liver is stiffer in subjects with diagnosed liver disease than in those who are healthy. The sensitivity of the SWE is 88%, specificity 93% with a cut-off value of 5.51 kPa. Greater hepatic stiffness is associated with increased portal vein diameter, monophasic and biphasic flow patterns of hepatic veins.
Keywords: ultrasound; shear wave elastography; liver stiffness; liver fibrosis; cirrhosis