Title: Clinical performance of transient elastography with comparison to quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and biopsy in children and adolescents with known or suspected fatty liver disease
Source: Childhood Obesity 2023, 19 (7): 461-469
Date of publication: October 2023
Publication type: Article
Abstract: Background: Performance of vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE) is inadequately validated in pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to assess the technical performance of VCTE in pediatric NAFLD and define the agreement between VCTE and reference standards of imaging and/or biopsy.
Methods: This prospective study recruited participants with known or suspected NAFLD who underwent a research VCTE examination (FibroScan Mini 430). Ten valid VCTE liver stiffness measurements (kPa) and controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) (dB/m) measurements were obtained for each participant. Available clinically acquired MR elastography and magnetic resonance imaging proton density fat fraction (PDFF), liver ultrasound shear wave elastography, and biopsy served as references standards.
Results: Eighty-four consecutive participants were included (55 males, mean age 15.0 ± 3.5 years, mean BMI 36.6 ± 9.4 kg/m2). VCTE examinations were complete in 80/83 participants. 37/83 participants were examined with an XL probe. There was no significant correlation between CAP and PDFF [n = 16; r = 0.17 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.34 to 0.61), p = 0.5] or between VCTE liver stiffness and MR elastography stiffness [n = 27; r = 0.31 (95% CI: -0.07 to 0.62), p = 0.10]. For prediction of any fibrosis stage ≥1 on biopsy (n = 9/15 participants), VCTE median liver stiffness >5.1 kPA had an area under receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.26-0.78) with a sensitivity of 88.9% and specificity of 16.6% (p > 0.99).
Conclusions: Complete VCTE examinations could be obtained in most pediatric patients with NAFLD. Neither VCTE liver stiffness nor CAP correlated well with measures of liver fat or stiffness by established imaging modalities and biopsy.