Acoustic structure quantification ultrasound software proves imprecise in assessing liver fibrosis or cirrhosis in parenchymal liver diseases

Christiane Krämer, Natalie Jaspers, Dirk Nierhoff, Kathrin Kuhr, Andrea Bowe, Tobias Goeser, Guido Michels
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology 2014, 40 (12): 2811-8
The present study was conducted to assess the diagnostic accuracy of Acoustic Structure Quantification (ASQ) ultrasound software in liver biopsy of patients with liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Eighty patients (47 ± 14 y, 41 men) with chronic liver diseases underwent ultrasound examination of the liver and liver biopsy. In addition to the standard-care ultrasound examination, three valid gray-scale images were obtained for each patient. With the ASQ software, the average and peak values (Cm(2)) of each ultrasound gray-scale image were calculated and then compared with histologic fibrosis staging (F0-F4). No correlation was found between ASQ values and histologic fibrosis stage (p > 0.05). Areas under the curve for the diagnosis of no or mild fibrosis (F0 and F1), moderate/severe fibrosis (F2 and F3) and cirrhosis (F4) using average/peak Cm(2) values of small regions of interest were 0.46/0.43, 0.62/0.68 and 0.38/0.33. Determination of liver fibrosis with ASQ in its present form as an alternative approach to liver biopsy is too imprecise.

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