Evaluation of diffuse liver steatosis by ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging: which modality is best?

Clin Imaging. Mar-Apr 2009;33(2):110-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2008.06.036.


Purpose: To compare ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) determination of diffuse liver steatosis.

Materials and methods: Quantification of liver steatosis on ultrasound, CT, and MRI was correlated with histopathology in 67 patients.

Results: Opposed-phase MRI demonstrated the highest correlation with steatosis (0.68 and 0.69, P<.01; intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.93). Spearman's correlation (and intraclass correlation) coefficients were lowest for ultrasound [0.54, 0.33 (0.40)] and enhanced CT [0.33, 0.39 (0.97)].

Conclusion: Opposed-phase MRI demonstrated best overall performance for determining steatosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatty Liver / diagnosis*
  • Fatty Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult