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Gastrointest Radiol. 1992 Winter;17(1):74-8.

Cirrhosis: diagnosis by liver surface analysis with high-frequency ultrasound.

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Department of Radiology, Instituto Nacional de la Nutricion, Mexico D.F., Mexico.


To determine the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the sonographic analysis of liver surface irregularities for the diagnosis of cirrhosis, the authors conducted a prospective and blinded study in 70 subjects with abnormal liver function tests. All patients included underwent liver biopsy within 15 days of the sonographic study. Twenty-three subjects with no signs or symptoms of liver disease were examined to assess the sonographic appearance of normal liver surface. Studies were performed with a small-parts probe, high-frequency transducer (7.5 MHz). Three basic patterns of liver surface were found: type I, normal; type II, focal abnormality; and type III, diffuse irregularity. Considering diffuse surface irregularity as an objective sonographic sign of cirrhosis, the study's sensitivity was 87.5%, specificity 81.5%, and positive and negative predictive values were 80% and 88.5%, respectively. Disease prevalence for cirrhosis was 45%. We conclude that sonographic analysis of the liver surface is a useful noninvasive test for the diagnosis of cirrhosis in the appropriate clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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