OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate whether liver stiffness (LS) assessments, obtained by two-dimensional (2D)-shear wave elastography (SWE) with a propagation map, can evaluate liver fibrosis stage using histopathology as the reference standard.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 123 patients who had undergone percutaneous liver biopsy from two tertiary referral hospitals. All patients underwent 2D-SWE examination prior to biopsy, and LS values (kilopascal [kPa]) were obtained. On histopathologic examination, fibrosis stage (F0-F4) and necroinflammatory activity grade (A0-A4) were assessed. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to determine the significant factors affecting the LS value. The diagnostic performance of the LS value for staging fibrosis was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, and the optimal cut-off value was determined by the Youden index.
RESULTS: Reliable measurements of LS values were obtained in 114 patients (92.7%, 114/123). LS values obtained from 2D-SWE with the propagation map positively correlated with the progression of liver fibrosis reported from histopathology (p < 0.001). According to the multivariate linear regression analysis, fibrosis stage was the only factor significantly associated with LS (p < 0.001). The area under the ROC curve of LS from 2D-SWE with the propagation map was 0.773, 0.865, 0.946, and 0.950 for detecting F ≥ 1, F ≥ 2, F ≥ 3, and F = 4, respectively. The optimal cut-off LS values were 5.4, 7.8, 9.4, and 12.2 kPa for F ≥ 1, F ≥ 2, F ≥ 3, and F = 4, respectively. The corresponding sensitivity and specificity of the LS value for detecting cirrhosis were 90.9% and 88.4%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The LS value obtained from 2D-SWE with a propagation map provides excellent diagnostic performance in evaluating liver fibrosis stage, determined by histopathology.