Quantitative Ultrasound for Staging of Hepatic Steatosis in Patients on Home Parenteral Nutrition Validated with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: A Feasibility Study.

Ultrasound Med Biol
G. Weijers, G. Wanten, J. Thijssen, M. van der Graaf and C. de Korte

Patients on home parenteral nutrition are at risk for developing liver dysfunction, which is due partly to the accumulation of lipids in the liver (steatosis) and may progress to end-stage liver disease with overt liver failure. Therefore, a timely diagnosis with easy access to repeated assessment of the degree of liver steatosis is of great importance. A pilot study was performed in 14 patients on long-term home parenteral nutrition using the computer-aided ultrasound method. Ultrasound radio frequency data were acquired using a phased array transducer and were converted into conventional B-mode images. All patients were subjected to proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurement of liver fat content for reference. Computer-aided ultrasound parameters similar to those in a previous validation study in cows revealed significant correlations with fat content measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The most significant parameters were the residual attenuation coefficient (R = 0.95, p < 0.001) and the lateral speckle size (R = 0.77, p = 0.021). These findings indicate the potential usefulness of computer-aided ultrasound for staging of hepatic steatosis.

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