Differences in liver stiffness values obtained with new ultrasound elastography machines and Fibroscan: A comparative study

Dig Liver Dis. 2017 Jul;49(7):802-808. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 10.


Background and aims: Whether Fibroscan thresholds can be immediately adopted for none, some or all other shear wave elastography techniques has not been tested. The aim of the present study was to test the concordance of the findings obtained from 7 of the most recent ultrasound elastography machines with respect to Fibroscan.

Methods: Sixteen hepatitis C virus-related patients with fibrosis ≥2 and having reliable results at Fibroscan were investigated in two intercostal spaces using 7 different elastography machines. Coefficients of both precision (an index of data dispersion) and accuracy (an index of bias correction factors expressing different magnitudes of changes in comparison to the reference) were calculated.

Results: Median stiffness values differed among the different machines as did coefficients of both precision (range 0.54-0.72) and accuracy (range 0.28-0.87). When the average of the measurements of two intercostal spaces was considered, coefficients of precision significantly increased with all machines (range 0.72-0.90) whereas of accuracy improved more scatteredly and by a smaller degree (range 0.40-0.99).

Conclusions: The present results showed only moderate concordance of the majority of elastography machines with the Fibroscan results, preventing the possibility of the immediate universal adoption of Fibroscan thresholds for defining liver fibrosis staging for all new machines.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Fibroscan; Liver fibrosis; Shear wave elastography; Transient elastography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric