The role of bright liver echo pattern on ultrasound B-mode examination in the diagnosis of liver steatosis
- B Palmentieri, I de Sio, V La Mura
- Dig Liver Dis 2006;38:485-489
AIMS To compare the accuracy of the ultrasound attenuation index (USAI) and hepato-renal index (HRI) for the diagnosis of hepatic steatosis (HS). MATERIAL AND METHODS Two hundred and twenty-four potential living hepatic donors underwent US and subsequent US-guided liver biopsy. The USAI was calculated from US images with an 8 MHz transducer and HRI was measured on sagittal images with a clear visualization of both the liver and kidney. Using histological degrees of HS as the reference standard, we compared the performance of USAI and HRI for diagnosing HS ≥ 5% and ≥ 30% by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The interobserver agreement was evaluated by using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) or Bland-Altman statistics. RESULTS Histologic degree of HS was 0-70% (median, 5%). HRI showed a tendency towards higher accuracy than USAI for diagnosing HS ≥ 5% (the area under the ROC curve, 0.856 vs. 0.820; p= 0.279) and ≥ 30% (0.937 vs. 0.909; p = 0.378) without statistical significance. There was an excellent interobserver agreement for both USAI and HRI (ICC = 0.931 and 0.973, respectively). According to the Bland-Altman method, the 95% limits of difference between two readers for HS were -8.5% to 6.6% by USAI and -4.8% to 6.2% by HRI. Most patients would have the difference of calculated HS by USAI (74.0%) and HRI (96.0%) from different operators within a range of ±5%. CONCLUSIONS Although statistically insignificant, HRI was superior to USAI for the diagnosis and quantitative estimation of HS in terms of diagnostic performance, including accuracy and reproducibility.