Elisabeth Manville
Feb 29, 2012

Ultrasound technology effective in detecting cirrhosis resulting from recurrent hepatitis C

Mayo Clinic researchers have confirmed the excellent accuracy of ultrasound-based transient elastography (TE) in diagnosing cirrhosis of the liver due to the recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients who have had a liver transplant. Patients who are HCV RNA-positive at the time of their transplant are at risk for HCV reinfection in which excess fibrotic tissue can develop more quickly, resulting in rapid progression of cirrhosis. The research team looked at studies of the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound-based TE, which measures liver stiffness to assess fibrosis. “The current gold standard for determining liver disease severity and progression is liver biopsy,” explains lead author Dr. Jayant Talwalkar. “However, biopsy following liver transplantation may not accurately determine fibrosis severity and non-invasive imaging technology has advanced to more accurately assess the severity of liver injury which includes an indirect assessment of elevated portal pressure.”