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The severity of steatosis influences liver stiffness measurement in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Authors: Petta, S.; Maida, M.; Macaluso, F.; Di Marco, V.; Cammà, C.; Cabibi, D.; Craxì, A.
  • Publication year: 2015
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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In nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the influence of severity of steatosis on liver stiffness measurement (LSM) is poorly studied and still debated. We assessed the impact of steatosis severity and its ultrasonographic (US) sign, severe bright liver echo pattern, on LSM values and on transient elastography accuracy for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis in a cohort of consecutive patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Patients (n=253) were assessed by clinical, US, and histological (Kleiner score) features. Transient elastography was performed using the M probe. Among patients with low amounts of fibrosis (F0-F1 and F0-F2), median LSM values, expressed in kilopascals, were significantly higher in subjects with severe steatosis (≥66% at liver biopsy) compared to those without (F0-F1 6.9 versus 5.8, P=0.04; F0-F2 7.4 versus 6.0, P=0.001) as well as in patients with severe bright liver echo pattern on US compared to their counterparts (F0-F1 7.3 versus 5.6, P=0.001; F0-F2 7.6 versus 6.0, P<0.001). In subjects without significant fibrosis (F0-F1) and without severe fibrosis (F0-F2), a higher rate of false-positive LSM results was observed in patients with steatosis ≥66% compared to those without (F0-F1 23.6% versus 14.9%, F0-F2 33.3% versus 13.2%) and in patients with severe bright liver echo pattern on US (F0-F1 22.2% versus 15.4%, F0-F2 28.8% versus 15.6%) compared to their counterparts. Conclusions: In patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the presence of severe steatosis, detected by histology or by US, should always be taken into account in order to avoid overestimations of liver fibrosis assessed by transient elastography. (Hepatology 2015;62:1101-1110)