Transient elastography accurately predicts presence of significant portal hypertension in patients with chronic liver disease


Dr C. Bureau, Service d’Hépato-Gastro-Entérologie, Fédération Digestive, Purpan, CHU, Toulouse, 31059 Toulouse cedex, France.


Background  Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is a prognostic marker in patients with cirrhosis. Transient elastography measures liver stiffness (LS).

Aim  To assess the correlation between LS and HVPG and to investigate the performance of transient elastography for the diagnosis of significant portal hypertension (PHT).

Methods  Liver stiffness was measured by Fibroscan in 150 consecutive patients who underwent a liver biopsy with haemodynamic measurements. Usual clinical and biological data were collected. Significant PHT was defined as a HVPG ≥10 mmHg.

Results  Hepatic venous pressure gradient was found to be ≥10 mmHg in 76 patients. Cirrhosis was diagnosed in 89 patients. HVPG was found to be correlated with: LS (ρ = 0.858; < 0.001) and inversely correlated with prothrombin index (ρ = −0.718; < 0.001). Regarding significant PHT, AUROC for LS and prothrombin index were 0.945 [0.904–0.987] and 0.892 [0.837–0.947] respectively. The cut-off value of 21 kPa accurately predicted significant PHT in 92% of the 144 patients for whom LS was successful.

Conclusion  Liver stiffness measurement is correlated with HVPG and transient elastography identifies patients with significant PHT.