Liver stiffness measurement as a predictive tool of clinically significant portal hypertension in patients with compensated hepatitis C virus or alcohol-related cirrhosis

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Nov 1;28(9):1102-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03825.x.


Background: Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is the gold standard for assessing the presence and the severity of portal hypertension (PHT). Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) is a non-invasive method for liver fibrosis assessment.

Aims: To assess the relationship between LSM and HVPG in patients with compensated cirrhosis related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) or alcohol and to define the performance and the best cut-off of LSM for the diagnosis of PHT in these patients.

Methods: Between January 2004 and September 2006, we studied all the consecutive patients with compensated HCV or alcohol-related-cirrhosis referred for transjugular liver biopsy with HVPG measurement and LSM performed the same day.

Results: Ninety-two patients were eligible, 44 had HCV related-cirrhosis and 48 alcoholic cirrhosis. LSM was positively correlated to HVPG in both groups. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the diagnosis of significant PHT was 0.76 +/- 0.07 in HCV patients (best cut-off at 20.5 kPa) and 0.94 +/- 0.03 (best cut-off at 34.9 kPa) in alcoholic patients.

Conclusions: Liver stiffness measurement and HVPG were significantly correlated in patients with compensated cirrhosis because of HCV infection or alcohol. LSM could predict significant PHT in both these groups of patients with a higher cut-off and a better performance in alcoholic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods
  • Female
  • Hepatic Veins / physiopathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Portal / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portal Vein / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Venous Pressure