Point Shear Wave Elastography in Assessment of Hepatic Fibrosis: Diagnostic Accuracy in Subjects With Native and Transplanted Livers Referred for Percutaneous Biopsy

Ultrasound Q. 2016 Sep;32(3):201-7. doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0000000000000219.


The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the use of point shear wave elastography for the assessment of liver fibrosis and to determine the usefulness and optimal location for obtaining elastography measurements in native and transplanted livers. Point shear wave elastography measurements were obtained from 100 consecutive patients presenting for percutaneous liver biopsy. Measurements were acquired within both the superior right hepatic lobe (segments VII/VIII) via an intercostal approach and the inferior right hepatic lobe (segments V/VI) via a subcostal approach. Analysis of variance was used to assess statistical differences between the degree of fibrosis on percutaneous liver biopsy and elastography measurements. No statistical difference was present when comparing elastography measurements in patients with hepatic steatosis compared with patients without steatosis (P = 0.2759). There was no difference in the accuracy of elastography measurements in native livers versus transplanted livers (P = 0.221). Point shear wave elastography can accurately differentiate between patients with no-to-mild hepatic fibrosis (F0-F1) and moderate-to-severe hepatic fibrosis (≥F2) with sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 69%. Point shear wave elastography can be used as a noninvasive method to assess fibrosis in patients with native or transplanted livers. In addition, measurements can be combined or taken separately from either the superior or inferior right hepatic lobe. The presence of hepatic steatosis does not affect the accuracy of point shear wave elastography. However, shear wave elastography values in patients with body mass index greater than 40 should be interpreted with caution.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index