Background/purpose: The accurate preoperative evaluation of liver fibrosis stage is important in determining surgical procedures. Although percutaneous liver biopsy is the gold standard, it may cause undesirable complications, such as bleeding. This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of real-time tissue elastography for the preoperative assessment of liver fibrosis stage. Methods: We focused on a new mode of sonogram, real-time elastography, which can show tissue elasticity on images, and express the elasticity numerically. The elastic ratio of the liver for the intercostal muscle for each patient was calculated preoperatively, using the sonography device. The liver fibrosis stages were finally determined in the operative specimens from 41 patients. We examined the correlation between the elastic ratio and the histological fibrosis stage. Results: The lower the elastic ratio, the more advanced was the liver fibrosis stage. There was a significant correlation between the elastic ratio and the histological fibrosis stage. The area under the receiver-operating characteristics curve for the diagnosis of significant liver fibrosis using this device was superior to those conventionally determined by blood parameters. Conclusions: Real-time elastography is a promising sonography-based noninvasive method for the preoperative assessment of liver fibrosis.
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