Background: Pediatric patients with liver disease require noninvasive monitoring for the likelihood of fibrosis progression. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the significant factors affecting liver stiffness values from two-dimensional-shear wave elastography (2D-SWE), and whether liver stiffness can predict the fibrosis stage of various childhood liver diseases.
Methods: This study comprised 30 children (22 boys and 8 girls; mean age, 5.1 ± 6.1 years; range, 7 days–17.9 years) who had undergone biochemical evaluation, 2D-SWE examination, and histopathologic analysis with fibrosis grade (F0 to F3), necroinflammatory activity, and steatosis grade between August 2016 and March 2020. The liver stiffness from 2D-SWE were compared between fibrosis stages using the Kruskal-Wallis analysis. The significant affecting factors to liver stiffness were evaluated using univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses. The diagnostic performance was determined from the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) values of the 2D-SWE liver stiffness.
Results: Liver stiffness at the F0-1, F2, and F3 stages were 7.9, 13.2, and 21.7 kPa (P < 0.001). Both of fibrosis stage and necroinflammatory grade were factors significantly associated with liver stiffness (P < 0.001 and P = 0.021). Liver stiffness value could distinguish significant fibrosis (≥F2) with an AUC of 0.950 (cutoff value, 11.3 kPa) and the severe fibrosis (F3 stage) with an AUC of 0.924 (cutoff value, 18.1 kPa).
Conclusion: The liver stiffness values from 2D-SWE can be effected through both fibrosis and necroinflammatory grade and can provide excellent diagnostic performance in evaluating the fibrosis stage, even in various liver disease.