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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Feb;12(2):155-164. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2017.1374852. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Elastography methods for the non-invasive assessment of portal hypertension.

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a UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health , Royal Free Hospital and UCL , London , UK.
b Liver Unit, Department of Internal Medicine , Valld'Hebron University Hospital, VHIR, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, CIBERehd , Barcelona , Spain.


The gold standard to assess the presence and severity of portal hypertension remains the hepatic vein pressure gradient, however the recent development of non-invasive assessment using elastography techniques offers valuable alternatives. In this review, we discuss the diagnostic accuracy and utility of such techniques in patients with portal hypertension due to cirrhosis. Areas covered: A literature search focused on liver and spleen stiffness measurement with different elastographic techniques for the assessment of the presence and severity of portal hypertension and oesophageal varices in people with chronic liver disease. The combination of elastography with parameters such as platelet count and spleen size is also discussed. Expert commentary: Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension is a validated tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients. Baveno VI recommended the combination of transient elastography and platelet count for ruling out varices needing treatment in patients with compensated advanced chronic liver disease. Assessment of aetiology specific cut-offs for ruling in and ruling out clinically significant portal hypertension is an unmet clinical need. The incorporation of spleen stiffness measurements in non-invasive algorithms using validated software and improved measuring scales might enhance the non-invasive diagnosis of portal hypertension in the next 5 years.


ARFI; Baveno; Fibroscan; HVPG; Varices; spleen stiffness

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