Prospective validation of intra- and interobserver reproducibility of a new point shear wave elastographic technique for assessing liver stiffness in patients with chronic liver disease

Su Joa Ahn, Jeong Min Lee, Won Chang, Sang Min Lee, Hyo Jin Kang, Hyunkyung Yang, Jeong Hee Yoon, Sae Jin Park, Joon Koo Han

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Objective: To assess intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of a new point shear wave elastography technique (pSWE, S-Shearwave, Samsung Medison) and compare its accuracy in assessing liver stiffness (LS) with an established pSWE technique (Virtual Touch Quantification, VTQ). Materials and Methods: Thirty-three patients were enrolled in this Institutional Review Board-approved prospective study. LS values were measured by VTQ on an Acuson S2000 system (Siemens Healthineer) and S-Shearwave on an RS-80A (Samsung Medison) in the same session, followed by two further S-Shearwave sessions for inter- and intra-observer variation at 8-hour intervals. The technical success rate (SR) and reliability of the measurements of both pSWE techniques were compared. The intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of S-Shearwave was determined by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). LS values were measured by both methods of pSWE. The diagnostic performance in severe fibrosis (F ≥ 3) and cirrhosis (F = 4) was evaluated using the receiver operating characteristics curve analysis and the Obuchowski measure with the LS values of transient elastography as the referenced standard. Results: The VTQ (100%, 33/33) and S-Shearwave (96.9%, 32/33) techniques did not display a significant difference in technical SR (p = 0.63) or reliability of LS measurements (96.9%, 32/33; 93.9%, 30/32, respectively, p = 0.61). The inter- and intra-observer agreement for LS measurements using the S-Shearwave technique was excellent (ICC = 0.98 and 0.99, respectively). The mean LS values of both pSWE techniques were not significantly different and exhibited a good correlation (r = 0.78). To detect F ≥ 3 and F = 4, VTQ and S-Shearwave showed comparable diagnostic accuracy as indicated by the following outcomes: areas under receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROC) = 0.87 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.70−0.96), 0.89 for VTQ (95% CI 0.74−0.97), respectively; and AUROC = 0.84 (95% CI 0.67−0.94), 0.94 (95% CI 0.80−0.99) for S-Shearwave (p > 0.48), respectively. The Obuchowski measures were similarly high for S-Shearwave and VTQ (0.94 vs. 0.95). Conclusion: S-Shearwave shows excellent inter- and intra-observer agreement and diagnostic effectiveness comparable to VTQ in detecting LS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-935
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Liver fibrosis
  • Liver stiffness
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Ultrasound elastography

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