Low Pretreatment Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging (ARFI) Values Predict Sustained Virological Response in Antiviral Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Therapy

Med Sci Monit. 2016 Sep 30;22:3500-3505. doi: 10.12659/msm.896344.


BACKGROUND Non-invasive procedures such as acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) shear-wave elastography are currently used for the assessment of liver fibrosis. In the course of chronic hepatitis C, significant liver fibrosis or cirrhosis develops in approximately 25% of patients, which is a negative predictor of antiviral treatment response. Cirrhosis can be prevented by successful virus elimination. In this prospective study, a pretreatment ARFI cutoff value of 1.5 m/s was evaluated in relation to sustained virological response to anti-HCV therapy. MATERIAL AND METHODS In 23 patients with chronic hepatitis C, liver stiffness was examined with ARFI at defined times before and under antiviral triple therapy (peginterferon, ribavirin in combination with a first-generation protease inhibitor, and telaprevir or boceprevir). Patients were stratified into 2 groups based on pretreatment ARFI values (<1.5 m/s and ≥1.5 m/s) for the assessment of virological response. RESULTS The liver stiffness at baseline for all patients was 1.57±0.79 m/s (ARFI median ± standard deviation; margin: 0.81 m/s to 3.45 m/s). At week 4 of triple therapy, patients with low pretreatment ARFI values had higher rates of HCV-RNA negativity (69% vs. 43%), reflecting an early rapid virological response (eRVR). Sustained virological response (SVR) was found in 75% (12/16) of patients with an ARFI value <1.5 m/s and only 57% (4/7) of patients with ARFI value ≥1.5 m/s. CONCLUSIONS Patients with chronic hepatitis C and pretreatment ARFI <1.5 m/s showed earlier virus elimination and better response to treatment.