Journal of Korean Society of Ultrasound in Medicine 2010;29(4): 233-239.
Usefulness of Ultrasound in the Evaluation of Morphologic Change of a Cirrhotic Liver During Respiration.
Joo Nam Byun, Dong Hun Kim, Eun Ha Suk
1Department of Radiology, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
2Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Hospital Bucheon, Bucheon, Korea.
3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  Published online: December 1, 2010.
PURPOSE: This study was designed to determine whether transabdominal ultrasound can detect different hepatic stiffness between patients with cirrhosis and control subjects. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sevent-three patients (Child-Pugh class A stage) with liver cirrhosis and 57 control subjects were included in this study. All patients were subdivided arbitrarily into two groups: early cirrhosis (n = 53) and overt cirrhosis (n = 20). Two sagittal images of the left lobe of the liver were obtained in the left hepatic vein level during the resting state and at full inspiration while pushing their belly out, by abdominal US (i.e., resting and stress image). The length between the inferior hepatic angle and the midpoint of the liver dome was measured in all images for the evaluation of liver distortion. The elongation was calculated by a formula: (L2-L1/L1) x 100(%); where L1 and L2 are the length of the liver for both the resting and stress image. The calculated elongated length (L2-L1, EL) and elongation rate were compared between cirrhotic patients and control subjects. RESULTS: For the control subjects, early cirrhosis, and overt cirrhosis groups, the mean ELs (elongation rate) were 2.34+/-0.98 cm (30.2+/-13.2%), 1.18+/-0.73 cm (14.9+/-9.5%) and 0.53+/-0.54 cm (6.3+/-6.6%), respectively. This difference among the three groups was statistically significant (p < 0.05). A possible best cut-off value of liver elongation rate is 17% for the prediction of cirrhosis (sensitivity: 90%, specificity: 75.3%). CONCLUSION: The liver of patients with liver cirrhosis is stiffer than that of control subjects. Calculation of the elongation rate in the left lobe of the liver during a respiratory maneuver may be used as an ancillary method of US for the evaluation of liver cirrhosis.
Keywords: Ultrasonography; Liver; Liver Cirrhosis; Respiration
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