Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 7, 2016; 22(17): 4338-4344
Published online May 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i17.4338
Shear wave elastography results correlate with liver fibrosis histology and liver function reserve
Yan-Hong Feng, Xiang-Dong Hu, Lin Zhai, Ji-Bin Liu, Lan-Yan Qiu, Yuan Zu, Si Liang, Yu Gui, Lin-Xue Qian
Yan-Hong Feng, Xiang-Dong Hu, Lin Zhai, Lan-Yan Qiu, Yuan Zu, Si Liang, Yu Gui, Lin-Xue Qian, Department of Ultrasound Medicine, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China
Ji-Bin Liu, Division of Diagnostic Ultrasound, Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States
Author contributions: Qian LX and Feng YH conceived and designed the study; Feng YH, Hu XD, Zhai L and Zu Y developed the methodology; Feng YH, Hu XD, Gui Y and Qian LY acquired the data; Feng YH, Hu XD and Liang S analyzed and interpreted the data; Feng YH, Zhai L, Liu JB and Qian LX wrote, reviewed and/or revised the manuscript; Hu XD, Qian LX and Gui Y provided administrative, technical or material support.
Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81401425.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: All procedures involving animals were reviewed and approved by the Animal Research Committee at Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Lin-Xue Qian, Chief Physician, Department of Ultrasound Medicine, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, No. 95 Yong’an Road, Beijing 100050, China.
Telephone: +86-10-63138217 Fax: +86-10-63138217
Received: December 8, 2015
Peer-review started: December 0, 2015
First decision: January 13, 2016
Revised: January 25, 2016
Accepted: March 2, 2016
Article in press: March 2, 2016
Published online: May 7, 2016

AIM: To evaluate the correlation of shear wave elastography (SWE) results with liver fibrosis histology and quantitative function reserve.

METHODS: Weekly subcutaneous injection of 60% carbon tetrachloride (1.5 mL/kg) was given to 12 canines for 24 wk to induce experimental liver fibrosis, with olive oil given to 2 control canines. At 24 wk, liver condition was evaluated using clinical biochemistry assays, SWE imaging, lidocaine metabolite monoethylglycine-xylidide (MEGX) test, and histologic fibrosis grading. Clinical biochemistry assays were performed at the institutional central laboratory for routine liver function evaluation. Liver stiffness was measured in triplicate from three different intercostal spaces and expressed as mean liver stiffness modulus (LSM). Plasma concentrations of lidocaine and its metabolite MEGX were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography repeated in duplicate. Liver biopsy samples were fixed in 10% formaldehyde, and liver fibrosis was graded using the modified histological activity index Knodell score (F0-F4). Correlations among histologic grading, LSM, and MEGX measures were analyzed with the Pearson linear correlation coefficient.

RESULTS: At 24 wk liver fibrosis histologic grading was as follows: F0, n = 2 (control); F1, n = 0; F2, n = 3; F3, n = 7; and F4, n = 2. SWE LSM was positively correlated with histologic grading (r = 0.835, P < 0.001). Specifically, the F4 group had a significantly higher elastic modulus than the F3, F2, and F0 groups (P = 0.002, P = 0.003, and P = 0.006, respectively), and the F3 group also had a significantly higher modulus than the control F0 group (P = 0.039). LSM was negatively associated with plasma MEGX concentrations at 30 min (r = -0.642; P = 0.013) and 60 min (r = -0.651; P = 0.012), time to ½ of the maximum concentration (r = -0.538; P = 0.047), and the area under the curve (r = -0.636; P = 0.014). Multiple comparisons showed identical differences in these three measures: significantly lower with F4 (P = 0.037) and F3 (P = 0.032) as compared to F0 and significantly lower with F4 as compared to F2 (P = 0.032).

CONCLUSION: SWE LSM shows a good correlation with histologic fibrosis grading and pharmacologic quantitative liver function reserve in experimental severe fibrosis and cirrhosis.

Keywords: Liver fibrosis, Histologic grading, Shear wave elastography, Monoethylglycinexylidide test, Experimental study

Core tip: Non-invasive evaluation of liver histology and function reserve is critical for determination of treatment option and prognosis in severe fibrosis and cirrhotic patients. Shear wave elastography (SWE) is a newly emerging elastrographic modality with relatively high resolution and good reproducibility for liver imaging. Lidocaine/monoethylglycinexylidide is also an advanced, laboratory dynamic liver function assay with good diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. This study sheds light on the correlation of SWE imaging results with pharmacologic quantitative liver function for disease severity and function reserve evaluation in patients with severe fibrosis/cirrhosis scheduled for major hepatectomy or liver transplantation.