US Attenuation for Liver Fat Quantification: An AIUM-RSNA QIBA Pulse-Echo Quantitative Ultrasound Initiative.

G. Ferraioli, V. Kumar, A. Ozturk, K. Nam, C. de Korte and R. Barr

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, with an estimated prevalence of up to 30% in the general population and higher in people with type 2 diabetes. The assessment of liver fat content is essential to help identify patients with or who are at risk for NAFLD and to follow their disease over time. The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine-RSNA Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance Pulse-Echo Quantitative Ultrasound Initiative was formed to help develop and standardize acquisition protocols and to better understand confounding factors of US-based fat quantification. The three quantitative US parameters explored by the initiative are attenuation, backscatter coefficient, and speed of sound. The purpose of this review is to present the current state of attenuation imaging for fat quantification and to provide expert opinion on examination performance and interpretation. US attenuation methods that need further study are outlined.

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