Ultrasound helps predict degree of hepatic fibrosis

By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

November 4, 2015 --

Tuesday, December 1 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSJ09-06 | Room E350
In this Tuesday talk, researchers from Boston will share how texture features of the liver identified on ultrasound can help clinicians predict varying degrees of hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.

The group led by Dr. David Podhaizer from Boston University conducted a retrospective review of 29 patients with chronic liver disease who had undergone nontargeted ultrasound-guided liver biopsies. They identified regions of interest on two to three ultrasound images per patient; these areas were chosen from the right lobe of the liver and did not include vessels or bile ducts.

The researchers then analyzed these sections using a programming language that identified 45 texture features, and they compared the results with Ishak fibrosis scores (on a scale of 0 to 6, with 0 equal to no fibrosis and 6 equal to cirrhosis).

Based on liver biopsy, each Ishak fibrosis stage from 0 to 5 was seen in four patients; five patients demonstrated Ishak stage 6. The identified texture characteristics showed strong correlation between Ishak fibrosis stage, histogram data, and two particular ultrasound features: gray-level run length (GLRL) and gray-level gradient matrix (GLGM).

Texture analysis could be used with ultrasound as a noninvasive method to diagnose and monitor progression of liver fibrosis, Podhaizer's team concluded.