JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Diagnostic Performance of Sonographic Features in Patients With Biliary Atresia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Hee Mang Yoon, Chong Hyun Suh, Jeong Rye Kim, Jin Seong Lee, Ah Young Jung, Young Ah Cho
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 2017, 36 (10): 2027-2038
28556285

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of sonographic features of biliary atresia in patients with infantile cholestasis.

METHODS: The Ovid-MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for studies of the diagnostic performance of sonographic features of biliary atresia in patients with infantile cholestasis. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the triangular cord sign and other sonographic features in patients with biliary atresia.

RESULTS: Seventeen eligible studies with 1444 patients were included. The triangular cord sign had high accuracy for diagnosing biliary atresia: the meta-analytic summary sensitivity and specificity were 85% (95% confidence interval, 77%-90%) and 97% (95% confidence interval, 94%-99%), respectively. The area under the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.97. Meta-regression analysis revealed that the cutoff thickness of the triangular cord sign (3 or 4 mm) was a significant factor affecting study heterogeneity (P < .01). The proportions of nonidentification of the gallbladder (GB) ranged from 0% to 53%. Abnormal GB morphologic characteristics, nonvisualization of the common bile duct, and the presence of hepatic subcapsular flow showed relatively high sensitivities and specificities.

CONCLUSIONS: The triangular cord sign and other sonographic features, including abnormal GB morphologic characteristics, nonvisualization of the common bile duct, and the presence of hepatic subcapsular flow, had high diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of biliary atresia.

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