Cirrhosis: Diagnosis by liver surface analysis with high-frequency ultrasound
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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.
Key wordsLiver, cirrhosis Liver, diseases Abdomen, ultrasound
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