Alcoholic liver disease diagnostic study of choice

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: M. Khurram Afzal, MD [2]

Overview

The diagnostic study of choice in developing countries for the diagnosis of cirrhosis in alcoholic liver disease is liver biopsy. In developed countries the diagnostic study of choice for cirrhosis is now the FibroScan or transient elastography.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

Diagnostic study of choice in developing countries:

Diagnostic study of choice in developed countries:

  • FibroScan or transient elastography is now the gold standard test for the diagnosis of cirrhosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease in developed countries.[9][10]
  • Transient elastography and the Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) technique are well-established methods for the staging of fibrosis in cirrhosis.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] 
  • The FibroScan (transient elastography) uses elastic waves to determine liver stiffness which theoretically may be converted into a liver score.
  • The FibroScan produces an ultrasound image of the liver (from 20-80mm) along with a pressure reading (in kPa).
  • Transient elastography is much faster than a biopsy (usually lasts 2.5-5 minutes) and is completely painless.
  • Findings on transient elastography may show reasonable correlation with the severity of cirrhosis:[22][23]
  • Note: Alcoholic steatohepatitis often coexists with fibrosis, since these tests are based on measurement of liver stiffness, it is better to wait until AST is less than 100U/L during alcohol withdrawal in order to preserve the diagnostic accuracy of this test.[24]

References

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  3. Fromenty B, Grimbert S, Mansouri A, Beaugrand M, Erlinger S, Rötig A, Pessayre D (1995). "Hepatic mitochondrial DNA deletion in alcoholics: association with microvesicular steatosis". Gastroenterology. 108 (1): 193–200. PMID 7806041.
  4. Chedid A, Mendenhall CL, Tosch T, Chen T, Rabin L, Garcia-Pont P, Goldberg SJ, Kiernan T, Seeff LB, Sorrell M (1986). "Significance of megamitochondria in alcoholic liver disease". Gastroenterology. 90 (6): 1858–64. PMID 3699404.
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  7. Anthony PP, Ishak KG, Nayak NC, Poulsen HE, Scheuer PJ, Sobin LH (1978). "The morphology of cirrhosis. Recommendations on definition, nomenclature, and classification by a working group sponsored by the World Health Organization". J. Clin. Pathol. 31 (5): 395–414. PMC 1145292. PMID 649765.
  8. Van Eyken P, Sciot R, Desmet VJ (1988). "A cytokeratin immunohistochemical study of alcoholic liver disease: evidence that hepatocytes can express 'bile duct-type' cytokeratins". Histopathology. 13 (6): 605–17. PMID 2466751.
  9. Piscaglia F, Marinelli S, Bota S, Serra C, Venerandi L, Leoni S, Salvatore V (2014). "The role of ultrasound elastographic techniques in chronic liver disease: current status and future perspectives". Eur J Radiol. 83 (3): 450–5. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.06.009. PMID 23891139.
  10. Crespo G, Fernández-Varo G, Mariño Z, Casals G, Miquel R, Martínez SM, Gilabert R, Forns X, Jiménez W, Navasa M (2012). "ARFI, FibroScan, ELF, and their combinations in the assessment of liver fibrosis: a prospective study". J. Hepatol. 57 (2): 281–7. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2012.03.016. PMID 22521355.
  11. Castera L, Pinzani M (2010). "Biopsy and non-invasive methods for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis: does it take two to tango?". Gut. 59 (7): 861–6. doi:10.1136/gut.2010.214650. PMID 20581229.
  12. Friedrich-Rust M, Nierhoff J, Lupsor M, Sporea I, Fierbinteanu-Braticevici C, Strobel D, Takahashi H, Yoneda M, Suda T, Zeuzem S, Herrmann E (2012). "Performance of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse imaging for the staging of liver fibrosis: a pooled meta-analysis". J. Viral Hepat. 19 (2): e212–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2893.2011.01537.x. PMID 22239521.
  13. Friedrich-Rust M, Ong MF, Martens S, Sarrazin C, Bojunga J, Zeuzem S, Herrmann E (2008). "Performance of transient elastography for the staging of liver fibrosis: a meta-analysis". Gastroenterology. 134 (4): 960–74. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2008.01.034. PMID 18395077.
  14. Ziol M, Handra-Luca A, Kettaneh A, Christidis C, Mal F, Kazemi F, de Lédinghen V, Marcellin P, Dhumeaux D, Trinchet JC, Beaugrand M (2005). "Noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis by measurement of stiffness in patients with chronic hepatitis C". Hepatology. 41 (1): 48–54. doi:10.1002/hep.20506. PMID 15690481.
  15. Sandrin L, Fourquet B, Hasquenoph JM, Yon S, Fournier C, Mal F, Christidis C, Ziol M, Poulet B, Kazemi F, Beaugrand M, Palau R (2003). "Transient elastography: a new noninvasive method for assessment of hepatic fibrosis". Ultrasound Med Biol. 29 (12): 1705–13. PMID 14698338.
  16. Bamber J, Cosgrove D, Dietrich CF, Fromageau J, Bojunga J, Calliada F, Cantisani V, Correas JM, D'Onofrio M, Drakonaki EE, Fink M, Friedrich-Rust M, Gilja OH, Havre RF, Jenssen C, Klauser AS, Ohlinger R, Saftoiu A, Schaefer F, Sporea I, Piscaglia F (2013). "EFSUMB guidelines and recommendations on the clinical use of ultrasound elastography. Part 1: Basic principles and technology". Ultraschall Med. 34 (2): 169–84. doi:10.1055/s-0033-1335205. PMID 23558397.
  17. "EASL-ALEH Clinical Practice Guidelines: Non-invasive tests for evaluation of liver disease severity and prognosis". J. Hepatol. 63 (1): 237–64. 2015. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2015.04.006. PMID 25911335.
  18. Castera L, Bedossa P (2011). "How to assess liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C: serum markers or transient elastography vs. liver biopsy?". Liver Int. 31 Suppl 1: 13–7. doi:10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02380.x. PMID 21205132.
  19. Chou R, Wasson N (2013). "Blood tests to diagnose fibrosis or cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection: a systematic review". Ann. Intern. Med. 158 (11): 807–20. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00005. PMID 23732714.
  20. Khallafi H, Qureshi K (2015). "Imaging Based Methods of Liver Fibrosis Assessment in Viral Hepatitis: A Practical Approach". Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis. 2015: 809289. doi:10.1155/2015/809289. PMC 4686715. PMID 26779260.
  21. Singh S, Fujii LL, Murad MH, Wang Z, Asrani SK, Ehman RL, Kamath PS, Talwalkar JA (2013). "Liver stiffness is associated with risk of decompensation, liver cancer, and death in patients with chronic liver diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 11 (12): 1573–84.e1–2, quiz e88–9. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.07.034. PMC 3900882. PMID 23954643.
  22. Foucher J, Chanteloup E, Vergniol J; et al. (2006). "Diagnosis of cirrhosis by transient elastography (FibroScan): a prospective study". Gut. 55 (3): 403–8. doi:10.1136/gut.2005.069153. PMID 16020491.
  23. Xie L, Chen X, Guo Q, Dong Y, Guang Y, Zhang X (2012). "Real-time elastography for diagnosis of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B". Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine : Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. 31 (7): 1053–60. PMID 22733854.
  24. Mueller S, Millonig G, Sarovska L, Friedrich S, Reimann FM, Pritsch M, Eisele S, Stickel F, Longerich T, Schirmacher P, Seitz HK (2010). "Increased liver stiffness in alcoholic liver disease: differentiating fibrosis from steatohepatitis". World J. Gastroenterol. 16 (8): 966–72. PMC 2828601. PMID 20180235.

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