Liver stiffness measurement by magnetic resonance elastography is not associated with developing hepatocellular carcinoma in subjects with compensated cirrhosis

R. Anaparthy, J. A. Talwalkar, M. Yin, L. R. Roberts, J. L. Fidler, R. L. Ehman

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Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 34: 83-91 Summary Background Liver stiffness assessed using transient elastography is described as a potential risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis. However, the strict assessment of hepatic parenchymal areas uninvolved with HCC has not been investigated. Aim To determine if liver stiffness of nonmalignant hepatic parenchyma using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is higher in patients with HCC compared with controls. Methods Cases were defined by compensated cirrhosis with a Child-Turcotte-Pugh score <7 and HCC by radiological criteria or histology. Control subjects with compensated cirrhosis were frequency matched with cases by gender and disease aetiology. Overt manifestations of portal hypertension and previous therapy for liver disease or HCC were exclusion criteria. Region of interest analyses were performed on hepatic parenchyma regions distant to HCC location among cases. Results Thirty patients with HCC and 60 matched controls comprised the study cohort. The mean age for cases was 64 ± 10 years (range, 45-85) with 70% being men. Major disease aetiologies were chronic viral hepatitis (57%), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (33%) and alcohol (10%). Twenty-eight (93%) patients had solitary HCC lesions with a mean size of 5.2 cm (range, 2-14 cm). However, patients with HCC had similar liver stiffness among uninvolved areas distant to HCC lesions, when compared with controls without HCC (mean, 6.1 ± 2.0 vs. 6.3 ± 2.5 kPa, P = 0.7). Conclusion In contrast to previous studies with transient elastography, we did not observe a systematic association between liver stiffness assessed using MRE and the presence of HCC in patients with compensated cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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