SAGE Publications, Ultrasound, 4(27), p. 262-271, 2019
The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of strain elastography for the assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease using Ishak (0–6) histology stage as a reference standard. Ninety-eight consecutive patients with suspected chronic liver disease scheduled for liver biopsy (n = 78) or histologically confirmed cirrhosis (n = 20) were enrolled. Liver fibrosis Index (LF Index) calculated by strain elastography, liver stiffness by transient elastography and serum fibrosis markers (aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index and King’s Score) were measured. Spearman’s correlation coefficient between the LF Index, liver stiffness, serum fibrosis markers and fibrosis stage were calculated and compared using areas under the receiver-operating characteristics (AUROCs) curves. Among 73 patients who underwent strain elastography, there was weak correlation between fibrosis stage and the LF Index (Spearman’s: ρ = 0.385 for Ishak score; P = 0.001). Among 52 patients who underwent strain elastography and transient elastography, the AUROC values using LF Index, transient elastography, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index and King’s Score for diagnosing significant fibrosis (Ishak score ≥ 3) were 0.79, 0.87, 0.86 and 0.85, respectively ( P < 0.0001) and for diagnosing severe fibrosis/cirrhosis (Ishak score ≥ 5) were 0.83, 0.94, 0.92 and 0.92, respectively ( P < 0.0001). When comparing the diagnostic performance using LF Index, transient elastography, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index and King’s Score, transient elastography shows a significantly higher AUROC value than LF Index in detecting severe fibrosis ( P = 0.0149). The diagnostic performance of LF Index calculated by strain elastography was not statistically significantly different to the other noninvasive tests for the assessment of significant liver fibrosis but inferior to transient elastography for the assessment of severe fibrosis/cirrhosis.