Cross-validation of MR elastography and ultrasound transient elastography in liver stiffness measurement: discrepancy in the results of cirrhotic liver

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Mar;35(3):607-10. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22845. Epub 2011 Oct 14.


Purpose: To evaluate individual differences in liver stiffness measurement using both MR elastography (MRE) and ultrasound transient elastography (UTE) in patients with chronic liver disease.

Materials and methods: This study included 80 patients with chronic liver disease who underwent both UTE and MRE. MRE and UTE were performed using a pneumatic driver (60 Hz) and an ultrasound probe with a vibrator (50 Hz), respectively. Liver stiffness data measured using the two techniques (μ(UTE) and μ(MRE) ) were compared with respect to shear modulus. The patients were subdivided into four quartiles on the basis of average of the μ(UTE) and μ(MRE) values for each patient.

Results: The analysis of the 4 quartile groups revealed that μ(UTE) was significantly higher than μ(MRE) in the two most stiff liver groups: μ(UTE) versus μ(MRE) , 7.5 (1.2) versus 6.0 (0.72) kPa for the group with [μ(UTE) + μ(MRE) ]/2 of 5.6-8.0 kPa; 15.1(4.2) versus 6.7 (1.4) kPa for the group with >8.0 kPa. However, in the least stiff liver group (i.e., the group with [μ(UTE) + μ(MRE) ]/2 < 3.2 kPa), μ(UTE) was significantly lower than μ(MRE) .

Conclusion: The shear modulus measured by UTE and MRE are not equivalent, especially in patients with stiff livers.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies