, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 382-388
Date: 25 May 2007

Diagnosis of hepatic steatosis and fibrosis by transient elastography in asymptomatic healthy individuals: a prospective study of living related potential liver donors

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Abstract

Background

This prospective study aimed to assess the ability of transient elastography to identify histologic parameters, including steatosis, in asymptomatic healthy individuals such as potential liver donors, and to compare these findings with results in liver disease patients.

Methods

Forty-seven patients with abnormal liver function and/or hepatitis symptoms and 80 living related potential liver donors were consecutively enrolled, and liver biopsy and a Fibroscan test were performed in each subject. Histologic parameters were evaluated according to METAVIR scale by a single pathologist.

Results

In liver disease patients, stiffness was significantly correlated with fibrosis stage (Spearman correlation coefficient, 0.700; P < 0.001), and the optimal stiffness cutoff values for F ≥ 2, F ≥ 3, and F = 4 were 7.35, 8.85, and 15.1 kPa respectively. In potential liver donors, however, stiffness was not correlated with fibrosis (0.023; P = 0.851). In the latter group, the area under the receiver-operating characteristics curve was 0.70 (95% confidence interval, 0.58–0.81), and the optimal stiffness cutoff value was 4.00 for F ≥ 2, which was lower than that in liver disease patients. Steatosis was not correlated with stiffness (0.088; P = 0.463) in potential liver donors.

Conclusions

Transient elastography has limited value for detecting steatosis in asymptomatic healthy individuals, and the cutoff value for fibrosis should be reevaluated in these subjects.