Assessment of hepatic steatosis by using attenuation imaging: a quantitative, easy-to-perform ultrasound technique
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To evaluate the diagnostic performance of attenuation imaging (ATI) in the detection of hepatic steatosis compared with a histopathology gold standard.
We prospectively enrolled 108 consecutive patients (35 males; median age, 54.0 years) who underwent percutaneous liver biopsy for evaluation of diffuse liver disease between January 2018 and November 2018 in a tertiary academic center. Grayscale ultrasound examination with ATI was performed just before biopsy, and an attenuation coefficient (AC) was obtained from each patient. The degree of hepatic steatosis, fibrosis stage, and necroinflammatory activity were assessed on histopathologic examination. The significant factor associated with the AC was found by a linear regression analysis, and the diagnostic performance of the AC for the classification into each hepatic steatosis stage was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
The distribution of hepatic steatosis grade on histopathology was 53/11/22/16/6 for none/mild (< 10%)/mild (≥ 10%)/moderate/severe steatosis, respectively. The area under the ROC curve, sensitivity, specificity, and optimal cutoff AC value for detection of hepatic steatosis ranged from 0.843–0.926, 74.5–100.0%, 77.4–82.8%, and 0.635–0.745, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that the degree of steatosis was the only significant determinant factor for the AC.
The AC from ATI provided good diagnostic performance in detecting the varying degrees of hepatic steatosis. The degree of steatosis was the only significant factor affecting the AC, whereas fibrosis and inflammation were not.
• Attenuation imaging (ATI) is based on two-dimensional grayscale ultrasound images that can incorporate into routine ultrasound examinations with less than 2 min of acquisition time.
• ATI provided good diagnostic performance in detecting the varying degrees of hepatic steatosis with an area under the ROC curves ranging from 0.843 to 0.926, and there was no technical failure in this study indicating high applicability of this technique.
• The degree of hepatic steatosis was the only significant factor affecting the result of ATI examination.
KeywordsFatty liver Ultrasonography Biopsy Sensitivity and specificity Linear models
Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve
Body mass index
Controlled attenuation parameter
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Region of interest
The attenuation imaging method was provided by Canon Medical Systems, and this study was technically supported by Canon Medical Systems.
The authors state that this work has not received any funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Byung Ihn Choi.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.
Statistics and biometry
No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.
Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
• Diagnostic or prognostic study
• Performed at one institution
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