The aim of the study was to test the sensitivity of liver stiffness (LS) measured by time harmonic elastography in large tissue windows to water uptake and post-prandial effects. Each subject gave written informed consent to participate in this institutional review board-approved prospective study. LS was measured by time harmonic elastography in 10 healthy volunteers pre- and post-prandially, as well as before, directly after and 2 h after drinking water. The LS-time function during water intake was measured in 14 scans over 3 h in five volunteers. LS increased by 10% (p = 0.0015) post-prandially and by 11% (p = 0.0024) after pure water ingestion, and decreased to normal values after 2 h. LS was lower after overnight fasting than after 2-h fasting (3%, p = 0.04). Over the time course, LS increased to post-water peak values 15 min after drinking 0.25 L water and remained unaffected by further ingestion of water. In conclusion, our study indicates that LS measured by time harmonic elastography represents an effective-medium property sensitive to physiologic changes in vascular load of the liver.
Keywords: Blood volume; Hepatic vasculature; Liver stiffness; Prandial effects; Time harmonic elastography; Water uptake.
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