Objectives: Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is the most accurate method of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to investigate the role of MRE in the prediction of hard outcomes in NAFLD. Methods and Results: Adults with NAFLD who underwent MRE between 2007 and 2019 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester were identified. Cox regression analyses were used to explore the predictive role of baseline LSM for 1) development of cirrhosis in noncirrhotic NAFLD and 2) development of liver decompensation or death in those with compensated cirrhosis. A total of 829 NAFLD subjects (54% women, median age 58 years) were identified. Of 639 subjects without cirrhosis, 20 developed cirrhosis after a median follow-up of 4 years. Baseline LSM was predictive of future cirrhosis development: age-adjusted HR = 2.93 (95% CI, 1.86–4.62, p <.0001) per 1 kPa increment (C-statistic = 0.86). Baseline LSM by MRE can be used to guide timing of longitudinal noninvasive monitoring: 5, 3 and 1 years for LSM of 2, 3 and 4–5 kPa, respectively. Of 194 subjects with compensated cirrhosis, 81 developed decompensation or death after a median follow-up of 5 years. Baseline LSM was predictive of future decompensation or death: HR = 1.32 (95% CI, 1.13–1.56, p = .0007) per 1 kPa increment after adjusting for age, sex and MELD-Na. The 1-year probability of future decompensation or death in cirrhosis with baseline LSM of 5 kPa vs 8 kPa is 9% vs 20%, respectively. Conclusion: In NAFLD, LSM by MRE is a significant predictor of future development of cirrhosis. These data expand the role of MRE in clinical practice beyond the estimation of liver fibrosis and provide important evidence that improves individualized disease monitoring and patient counseling.
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