Quantitative and noninvasive assessment of chronic liver diseases using two-dimensional shear wave elastography

World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 7;24(9):957-970. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i9.957.


Two-dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) is a rapid, simple and novel noninvasive method that has been proposed for assessing hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases (CLDs) based on measurements of liver stiffness. 2D-SWE can be performed easily at the bedside or in an outpatient clinic and yields immediate results with good reproducibility. Furthermore, 2D-SWE was an efficient method for evaluating liver fibrosis in small to moderately sized clinical trials. However, the quality criteria for the staging of liver fibrosis are not yet well defined. Liver fibrosis is the main pathological basis of liver stiffness and a key step in the progression from CLD to cirrhosis; thus, the management of CLD largely depends on the extent and progression of liver fibrosis. 2D-SWE appears to be an excellent tool for the early detection of cirrhosis and may have prognostic value in this context. Because 2D-SWE has high patient acceptance, it could be useful for monitoring fibrosis progression and regression in individual cases. However, multicenter data are needed to support its use. This study reviews the current status and future perspectives of 2D-SWE for assessments of liver fibrosis and discusses the technical advantages and limitations that impact its effective and rational clinical use.

Keywords: Chronic liver disease; Elastography; Liver fibrosis; Shear wave.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult