1From the Department of Radiology (D.T.F.) and Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases (A.M.), UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, E6-230-BF, Dallas, TX 75390-9316; Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (T.T.P.); Department of Radiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala (M.L.R.); Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory of Biorheology and Medical Ultrasonics, University of Montréal Hospital Research Center, Montréal, Quebec, Canada (G.C.); Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis (T.J.H.); Department of Radiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan (A.C.); Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Homburg/Saar, Homburg, Germany (R.K.); and Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada (A.T.).
Fatty liver disease has a high and increasing prevalence worldwide, is associated with adverse cardiovascular events and higher long-term medical costs, and may lead to liver-related morbidity and mortality. There is an urgent need for accurate, reproducible, accessible, and noninvasive techniques appropriate for detecting and quantifying liver fat in the general population and for monitoring treatment response in at-risk patients. CT may play a potential role in opportunistic screening, and MRI proton-density fat fraction provides high accuracy for liver fat quantification; however, these imaging modalities may not be suited for widespread screening and surveillance, given the high global prevalence. US, a safe and widely available modality, is well positioned as a screening and surveillance tool. Although well-established qualitative signs of liver fat perform well in moderate and severe steatosis, these signs are less reliable for grading mild steatosis and are likely unreliable for detecting subtle changes over time. New and emerging quantitative biomarkers of liver fat, such as those based on standardized measurements of attenuation, backscatter, and speed of sound, hold promise. Evolving techniques such as multiparametric modeling, radiofrequency envelope analysis, and artificial intelligence-based tools are also on the horizon. The authors discuss the societal impact of fatty liver disease, summarize the current state of liver fat quantification with CT and MRI, and describe past, currently available, and potential future US-based techniques for evaluating liver fat. For each US-based technique, they describe the concept, measurement method, advantages, and limitations. © RSNA, 2023 Online supplemental material is available for this article. Quiz questions for this article are available through the Online Learning Center.