Quantitative elastography of liver fibrosis and spleen stiffness in chronic hepatitis B carriers: comparison of shear-wave elastography and transient elastography with liver biopsy correlation

Radiology. 2013 Dec;269(3):910-8. doi: 10.1148/radiol.13130128. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


Purpose: To document utility of shear-wave (SW) elastography for assessing liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B and to compare its performance with that of transient elastography.

Materials and methods: Ethics committee approved the study, and informed consent was obtained. Patients with liver biopsy correlation (n = 226) and healthy patients (n = 171) were analyzed. Results of SW elastography of liver, SW elastography of spleen, and transient elastography of liver were compared and correlated according to METAVIR scores. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUCs), binary logistic regression, and Delong test were used.

Results: AUC for SW elastography of liver, transient elastography of liver, and SW elastography of spleen was, respectively, 0.86, 0.80, and 0.81 for fibrosis (≥ F1 stage); 0.88, 0.78, and 0.82 for moderate fibrosis (≥ F2 stage); 0.93, 0.83, and 0.83 for severe fibrosis (≥ F3 stage); and 0.98, 0.92, and 0.84 for cirrhosis (F4 stage). SW elastography of liver showed significantly higher accuracy than transient elastography of liver and SW elastography of spleen in all fibrosis stages (P = .01-.04). SW elastography of spleen showed similar accuracy with transient elastography of liver (P = .21-.99). Combination SW elastography of liver and SW elastography of spleen to predict fibrosis staging showed diagnostic accuracy not further improved compared with SW elastography of liver alone (similar AUC; ≥ F1, P = .87; ≥ F2, P = .81; ≥ F3, P = .84; ≥ F4, P = .88). SW elastography of liver had higher successful rate than transient elastography of liver (98.9% vs 89.6%). Prevalence of discordance in at least two stages with liver histologic staging was 10.2% (23 of 226) for SW elastography of liver and 28.2% (58 of 206) for SW elastography of spleen.

Conclusion: SW elastography provides more accurate correlation of liver elasticity with liver fibrosis stage compared with transient elastography, especially in identification of stage F2 or greater.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spleen / pathology