2D shear-wave elastography IDs liver damage in hepatitis B patients

2D shear-wave elastography (SWE) outperformed other noninvasive methods in detecting liver damage in chronic hepatitis B patients, according to researchers of a recent Radiology study.

Led by Chinese researchers Yongyan Gao and Jian Zheng, the team analyzed 402 patients with chronic hepatitis B who underwent liver biopsy and 2D SWE imaging. Participants were spread across 12 Chinese hospitals.

Authors tested the diagnostic accuracy of 2D SWE compared to transient elastography (TE), aspartate amino transferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and the Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index. Histologic analysis was used as a reference standard.

Overall, 2D SWE achieved a better area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.87, compared to that of TE (0.80), APRI (0.70) and FIB-4 (0.73) in identifying cirrhosis.

The cohort was also divided into chronic infection and chronic hepatitis groups, as is currently recommended by the European Association for the Study of Liver guidelines, to determine the accuracy of each noninvasive technique.

Two-dimensional SWE performed better in the chronic infection group with an AUC of 0.92 compared to the 0.84 mark achieved in the chronic hepatitis group.

“For participants with cirrhosis, the finding that the diagnostic performance of 2D SWE in the chronic infection group was higher than that in the chronic hepatitis group is encouraging, because it may be helpful for antiviral treatment decisions,” authors wrote.

“However, the relatively low performance of 2D SWE to diagnose cirrhosis in participants with chronic hepatitis tends to support that liver stiffness assessment cannot be the only criterion for fibrosis evaluation,” they added.