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eISSN: 1643-3750

Usefulness of Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography for Predicting Esophageal Varices in Patients with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)-Related Cirrhosis

Jun Li, Jin-Chun Feng, Xin-Yu Peng, Xiang-Wei Wu, Ting-Ting Du, Jia-Jia Wang, Shu-Xin Tian, Gui-Lin Lu

(Department of Ultrasound, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:2241-2249

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904227

Published: 2017-05-12

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in predicting of esophageal varices (EV) and assessing high-risk EV in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related cirrhosis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients with HBV-related cirrhosis who had undergone endoscopy were prospectively recruited. Hepatic dynamic CEUS was performed. Regions of interest (ROI) were drawn on the hepatic artery, hepatic vein, portal vein, and liver parenchyma to measure the corresponding features, such as arrival times. Spearman’s correlation analysis was used to determine the relations between several dynamic CEUS features and the degree of EV. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed to investigate the diagnostic performance of CEUS in assessing the presence of EV and high-risk EV.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients (44 men; mean age 51.3 years) were included in this study. Of these, 18 (31.0%), 12 (20.7%), 11 (19.0%), and 17 (29.3%) of patients had grade 0, 1, 2, and 3 EV, respectively. Grade 2 and grade 3 EV were considered high-risk EV. Among the CEUS features, the area under the ROC curves of intrahepatic transit time (HV−HA, i.e., the difference between hepatic vein arrival time and hepatic artery arrival time) both for assessment of the presence of EV and high-risk EV (0.883 and 0.915, respectively) were larger than the other indices. HV–HA was negatively correlated with the grade of EV. An HV–HA of under 8.2 s indicated the presence of EV and under 7 s indicated high-risk EV.
CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic CEUS imaging is useful in assessing the presence of EV and high-risk EV in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis.

Keywords: Esophageal and Gastric Varices, Liver Cirrhosis, Ultrasonography