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Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Radiology and Medical Imaging - Respiratory Medicine

Non-Invasive Evaluation of Cystic Fibrosis Related Liver Disease in Adults with ARFI, Transient Elastography and Different Fibrosis Scores
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Author: Thomas Karlas et al.

by Thomas Karlas, Marie Neuschulz, Annett Oltmanns, Andrea Güttler, David Petroff, Hubert Wirtz, Jochen G. Mainz, Joachim Mössner, Thomas Berg, Michael Tröltzsch, Volker Keim, Johannes Wiegand


Cystic fibrosis-related liver disease (CFLD) is present in up to 30% of cystic fibrosis patients and can result in progressive liver failure. Diagnosis of CFLD is challenging. Non-invasive methods for staging of liver fibrosis display an interesting diagnostic approach for CFLD detection.


We evaluated transient elastography (TE), acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI), and fibrosis indices for CFLD detection.


TE and ARFI were performed in 55 adult CF patients. In addition, AST/Platelets-Ratio-Index (APRI), and Forns' score were calculated. Healthy probands and patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis served as controls.


Fourteen CF patients met CFLD criteria, six had liver cirrhosis. Elastography acquisition was successful in >89% of cases. Non-cirrhotic CFLD individuals showed elastography values similar to CF patients without liver involvement. Cases with liver cirrhosis differed significantly from other CFLD patients (ARFI: 1.49 vs. 1.13 m/s; p?=?0.031; TE: 7.95 vs. 4.16 kPa; p?=?0.020) and had significantly lower results than individuals with alcoholic liver cirrhosis (ARFI: 1.49 vs. 2.99 m/s; p?=?0.002). APRI showed the best diagnostic performance for CFLD detection (AUROC 0.815; sensitivity 85.7%, specificity 70.7%).


ARFI, TE, and laboratory based fibrosis indices correlate with each other and reliably detect CFLD related liver cirrhosis in adult CF patients. CF specific cut-off values for cirrhosis in adults are lower than in alcoholic cirrhosis.