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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2020 Dec 03

DOI: 10.23736/S1121-421X.20.02787-7


language: English

What does liver elastography measure? Technical aspects and methodology

Christoph F. DIETRICH 1 , Long SHI 2, Qi WEI 3, Yi DONG 4 , Xin-Wu CUI 3, Axel LÖWE 1, Mathias WORNI 6, 7, 8, Giovanna FERRAIOLI 5

1 Department Allgemeine Innere Medizin (DAIM), Kliniken Beau Site, Salem und Permanence, Hirslanden, Bern, Switzerland; 2 Department of Ultrasound, Jingmen No. 2 People's Hospital, Jingmen, Hubei, China; 3 Department of Medical Ultrasound, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China; 4 Department of Ultrasound, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; 5 Department of Clinical, Surgical, Diagnostic and Pediatric Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 6 Department of Visceral Surgery, Clarunis, University Centre for Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, St. Clara Hospital and University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland; 7 Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine, Stiftung Lindenhof, Campus SLB, Bern, Switzerland; 8 Department of Surgery, Clinic Beau Site, Bern, Switzerland


Elastography can be thought as an extension of the ancient technique of palpation. After giving a short introduction to the history of elastography, the different technologies that are nowadays available and the physics behind them, the article focuses on the assessment of liver stiffness in patients with diffuse liver disease using shear wave elastography (SWE). Practical advices on how to perform the SWE techniques and on the factors that should be taken into account for a correct interpretation of the results are given. This paper aims to provide a practical guide for beginners and advanced clinical users to better understand technical aspects, methodologies and terminology.

KEY WORDS: Shear wave elastography (SWE); Liver stiffness; Terminology; Methodologies; Practical guide

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