Point Shear Wave Elastography of the Spleen in Predicting the Presence of Esophageal Varices in Cirrhosis: Liver Stiffness vs. Spleen Stiffness

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Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography


Objective: To determine the diagnostic ability of the spleen and liver stiffness in predicting the presence of esophageal varices (EVs). Methods: A sample of cirrhotic patients, diagnosed with sonography, was recruited. The cohorts’ liver stiffness (LS) and spleen stiffness (SS) were measured with the Philips’ Elast PQ technique. Platelet count and spleen size were also documented. The endoscopic report was used as the diagnostic gold standard. Singular and combined parameters were assessed to determine the presence of EV using an independent variable t test, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, and multilogistic regression analysis statistical tests. Results: In predicting the presence of EV, there was a statistically significant difference in means of SS (2.13 ± 0.69 m/s vs. 3.23 ± 1.32 m/s) and LS (2.33 ± 1.20 m/s vs. 3.05 ± 1.4 m/s), as well as discriminating between groups of patients, with and without EV. The ability to diagnostically classify EV with SS and LS was fair while the remaining parameters were deemed poor, using a SS cutoff value of 1.99 m/s. Conclusion: Despite the difference in means, none of the assessed parameters demonstrated a better classification ability than endoscopy. LS and SS were equal in the prediction of EV in these patients. The LS estimate of fibrosis would have grossly predicted the presence of varices. However, the addition of SS, for the estimation of varices, provided no significant benefit.

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