Natalya KuzminaChelyabinsk Regional Children Clinical Hospital, Russia
Title: Elastometry indices of unchanged liver in healthy children
Introduction: Chronic liver diseases in children are accompanied by fibrocirrhotic transformation of the organ. Modern ultrasound diagnostic procedures offer a method that can differentiate between the fibrous and unchanged tissues. The paper includes the results of a study of liver stiffness in healthy children using shear wave elastography. The method presented in the article can come to active use in the non-invasive detection of fibrosis as part of the integrated assessment of liver in pediatric practice. Aim. To study the stiffness of unchanged liver in children of different gender and age groups.
Materials and Methods: Shear wave elastography was performed in 200 healthy children aged 3 to 18 years (103 girls and 97 boys) using Aixplorer apparatus (Supersonic Imagine, France), in three age subgroups: a 3- to 6-year-old group (n = 103), a 7- to 11-year-old group (n = 52), and a 12- to 18-year-old group (n = 45). The measurements were taken in different segments of the right lobe of the liver, in the area free from the vascular structures, fixing the zone of scanning at the depth of 3–5 cm from the capsule. Not less than 10 measurements were made, which enabled to calculate the mean value of liver elasticity.
Results: The study identified the liver stiffness measurement normal range in a group of healthy children. Significant differences in liver stiffness were obtained by comparing the values of 3- to 6- year-old and 7- to 11-year-old groups (P = 0.001); 3- to 6-year-old and 12- to 18-year-old groups (P = 0.001); there were no statistically significant differences in the stiffness values depending on gender (P = 0.345).
Conclusions: Young modulus values obtained may be used as normative. The use of shear wave elastography enhances the accuracy of the conventional ultrasound examination in identifying patients with liver disease. Keywords: ultrasound diagnostics, shear wave elastography, liver, children, fibrosis.
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