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Hepatol Res. 2009 Jul;39(7):675-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2009.00500.x. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Liver stiffness measured by transient elastography correlates with fibrosis area in liver biopsy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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1
Division of Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Fujita Health University, Fujita Health University Hospital, Aichi, Japan.

Abstract

AIM:

Liver stiffness (LS) measured by transient elastography (TE) has been reported to correlate with liver fibrosis, which is usually semiquantitatively assessed. In the present study, the fibrosis area was measured by image analysis software in liver biopsy specimens and its correlation with LS was assessed.

METHODS:

LS was measured by TE in all 165 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who underwent liver biopsy consecutively in Fujita Health University Hospital from July 2004 to September 2007.

RESULTS:

Fibrosis area was significantly correlated with fibrosis stage as assessed by the Metavir score (rho = 0.733, P < 0.0001). The optimal cut-off value of fibrosis area was 1.6% for F > or = 2, 3.1% for F > or = 3, and 3.8-6.4% for F4. LS was significantly correlated with fibrosis stage (rho = 0.734, P < 0.0001). The optimal cut-off value of LS was 7.1 kPa for F > or = 2, 9.6 kPa for F > or = 3 and 11.6-16.9 kPa for F4. Multiple linear regression analysis selected fibrosis area (P = 0.0002), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P = 0.0237), gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-GTP) (P = 0.0114), prothrombin time (P = 0.0114) and hyaluronic acid (P < 0.0001) as factors correlating with LS.

CONCLUSION:

The correlation between LS and liver fibrosis was confirmed by the objective measurement of fibrosis area. ALT was significantly correlated with LS, suggesting that inflammatory activity also affects LS values. Despite some limitation, LS measurement is a useful method for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis.

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