1Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, Dupuytren University Hospital, Limoges 87000, France.
2Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand 63000, France. email@example.com.
3Department of Radiology, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand 63000, France.
4Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand 63000, France.
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major health problem, resulting in hepatic, metabolic and cardio-vascular morbidity.
Aim: To evaluate new ultrasonographic tools to detect and measure hepatic steatosis.
Methods: We prospectively included 105 patients referred to our liver unit for NAFLD suspicion or follow-up. They underwent ultrasonographic measurement of liver sound speed estimation (SSE) and attenuation coefficient (AC) using Aixplorer MACH 30 (Supersonic Imagine, France), continuous controlled attenuation parameter (cCAP) using Fibroscan (Echosens, France) and standard liver ultrasound with hepato-renal index (HRI) calculation. Hepatic steatosis was then classified according to magnetic resonance imaging proton density fat fraction (PDFF). Receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic performance in the diagnosis of steatosis.
Results: Most patients were overweight or obese (90%) and had metabolic syndrome (70%). One third suffered from diabetes. Steatosis was identified in 85 patients (81%) according to PDFF. Twenty-one patients (20%) had advanced liver disease. SSE, AC, cCAP and HRI correlated with PDFF, with respective Spearman correlation coefficient of -0.39, 0.42, 0.54 and 0.59 (P < 0.01). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for detection of steatosis with HRI was 0.91 (0.83-0.99), with the best cut-off value being 1.3 (Se = 83%, Sp = 98%). The optimal cCAP threshold of 275 dB/m, corresponding to the recent EASL-suggested threshold, had a sensitivity of 72% and a specificity of 80%. Corresponding AUROC was 0.79 (0.66-0.92). The diagnostic accuracy of cCAP was more reliable when standard deviation was < 15 dB/m with an AUC of 0.91 (0.83-0.98). An AC threshold of 0.42 dB/cm/MHz had an AUROC was 0.82 (0.70-0.93). SSE performed moderately with an AUROC of 0.73 (0.62-0.84).
Conclusion: Among all ultrasonographic tools evaluated in this study, including new-generation tools such as cCAP and SSE, HRI had the best performance. It is also the simplest and most available method as most ultrasound scans are equipped with this module.