Liver Elasticity in NASH Patients Evaluated with Real-Time Elastography (RTE)

Antonio Orlacchio, Francesca Bolacchi, Marco Antonicoli, Irene Coco, Elisa Costanzo, Daniela Tosti, Simona Francioso, Mario Angelico, Giovanni Simonetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Liver elasticity as assessed by real-time elastography (RTE) has been shown to be correlated to liver fibrosis in various chronic liver diseases. The aim of our study was to assess the RTE performance in the evaluation of liver fibrosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as the histopathologic variables determining the eventual discordance between the RTE-predicted and the biopsy-proven fibrosis. Fifty-two consecutive biopsy proven NASH patients and 20 controls were studied. Liver tissue elasticity measurements were performed using the Hitachi EUB-8500 sonographer and the EUP-L52 Linear (3-7 MHz) probe. RTE liver tissue mean elasticity (TME) values were calculated and correlated to the histologic fibrosis, activity and steatosis scores. A decrease in TME was observed with increasing fibrosis (r = -0.75). Similarly, TME varied together consistently with steatosis (r = -0.3). In contrast, TME did not show any correlation with the severity of inflammation. Multiple regression analysis showed that fibrosis was the only variable able to significantly (p <0.0001) modify TME values. The diagnostic accuracy of TME measurement for F > 0 evaluated by AUC-ROC analysis was 0.86. The diagnostic accuracy of TME measurement for F ≥ 2 was 0.92. We suggest that RTE could be used as a complementary imaging method to evaluate liver fibrosis in NASH patients. Future studies of larger patient cohorts are necessary for the validation of the technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012



  • Liver fibrosis
  • Liver steatosis
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Real-time elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics

Cite this

Orlacchio, A., Bolacchi, F., Antonicoli, M., Coco, I., Costanzo, E., Tosti, D., Francioso, S., Angelico, M., & Simonetti, G. (2012). Liver Elasticity in NASH Patients Evaluated with Real-Time Elastography (RTE). Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 38(4), 537-544.