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Elastography in the evaluation of liver allograft

Abstract

Elastography is an established technique in the evaluation of chronic liver diseases. While there is a large clinical experience and data available regarding the performance of elastography in native liver, elastography experience with liver grafts is limited and still growing. Both ultrasound-based elastography techniques and MR Elastography (MRE) are useful in the assessment of liver fibrosis in liver transplants. Technical modifications for performing elastography will be required for optimum evaluation of the graft. In general, caution needs to be exercised regarding the use of elastography immediately following transplantation as post-operative changes, perioperative conditions/complications, inflammation, and rejection can cause increased stiffness in the graft. In the follow-up, detection of increased stiffness with elastography is useful for predicting development of fibrosis in the graft. Adjunctive MRI or ultrasound with Doppler also provides comprehensive evaluation of anatomy, vascular anastomosis and patency, biliary tree, and stiffness for fibrosis. In this review, we provide a brief overview of elastography techniques available followed by the literature review of elastography in the evaluation of grafts and illustration with clinical examples.

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Correspondence to S. K. Venkatesh.

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Navin, P.J., Olson, M.C., Knudsen, J.M. et al. Elastography in the evaluation of liver allograft. Abdom Radiol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00261-019-02400-w

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Keywords

  • Liver grafts
  • Liver transplants
  • Magnetic resonance elastography
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Transient elastography