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Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Elastography in Autoimmune and Cholestatic Liver Diseases

Ruediger S. Goertz, Luise GaBmann, Deike Strobel, Dane Wildner, Barbara Schellhaas, Markus F. Neurath, Lukas Pfeifer


Introduction. Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) elastography evaluates hepatic fibrosis non-invasively and has been mainly validated in viral hepatitis. Data on rare liver diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), overlap syndrome, primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) are sparse. Material and methods. 85 patients (including 31 AIH, 26 PBC, 16 PSC and 3 PSC- and 9 PBC- AIH-overlap syndromes) were retrospectively analysed pointing at ARFI elastography of the liver and the correlation with histologic Ishak fibrosis score (F0-6). Results of shear wave velocities (m/s) were expressed as mean ± standard deviation. Results. The mean shear wave velocity of all 85 patients showed 1.80 ± 0.84 m/s (0.74-3.98). The ARFI elastography values correlated with the degree of fibrosis in all patients overall and in patients with AIH, overlap syndrome and PSC, respectively. The subgroup of 26 patients with PBC (only with Ishak F ≤ 3) revealed no correlation between ARFI and these early fibrosis stages (r = 0.019, p = 0.927). ARFI elastography correlated with bilirubin, AST, but not with patient age, body mass index or measurement depth. The cut-off of 2.04 m/s for detecting cirrhosis (Ishak F ≥ 5) leads to a sensitivity of 90.0% and specificity of 74.7% (AUROC 87.2%). Conclusion. ARFI elastography can evaluate fibrosis in AIH, PSC and PSC-/PBC-AIH-overlap syndrome with good accuracy for the detection of hepatic cirrhosis. Shear wave velocities in PBC should be interpreted with caution in early stages of fibrosis.

Key words. Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), Overlap syndrome, Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI), Elastography

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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