Purpose: To investigate whether liver stiffness measured by acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) sonoelastography always correlates with the liver perfusion parameters quantified by perfusion CT in patients with known liver cirrhosis. Methods: Sonoelastography and perfusion CT were performed in 50 patients (mean age 65.5; range 45–87 years) with liver cirrhosis, who were classified according to Child–Pugh into class A (30/50, 60%), B (17/50, 34%), and C (3/50, 6%). For standardized ARFI measurements in the left liver lobe at a depth of 4 cm, a convex 6-MHz probe was used. CT examinations were performed using 80 kV, 100 mAs, and 50 ml of iodinated contrast agent injected at 5 ml/s. Using standardized region-of-interest measurements, we quantified arterial, portal venous, and total liver perfusion. Results: There was a significant linear correlation between tissue stiffness and arterial liver perfusion (p = 0.015), and also when limiting the analysis to patients with histology (p = 0.019). In addition, there was a positive correlation between the total blood supply (arterial + portal-venous liver perfusion) to the liver and tissue stiffness (p = 0.001; with histology, p = 0.027). Shear wave velocity increased with higher Child–Pugh stages (p = 0.013). Conclusion: The degree of tissue stiffness in cirrhotic livers correlates expectedly—even if only moderately—with the magnitude of arterial liver perfusion and total liver perfusion. As such, liver elastography remains the leading imaging tool in assessing liver fibrosis.
- Elasticity imaging techniques
- Liver cirrhosis
- Perfusion imaging
- Spiral computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging