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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in World Journal of Clinical Cases, Volume 7, Issue 10, May 2019, Pages 1122-1132.

The published version is available at Copyright © Jian et al.


BACKGROUND: Staging diagnosis of liver fibrosis is a prerequisite for timely diagnosis and therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B. In recent years, ultrasound elastography has become an important method for clinical noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis stage, but its diagnostic value for early liver fibrosis still needs to be further improved. In this study, the texture analysis was carried out on the basis of two dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE), and the feasibility of 2D-SWE plus texture analysis in the diagnosis of early liver fibrosis was discussed.

AIM: To assess the diagnostic value of 2D-SWE combined with textural analysis in liver fibrosis staging.

METHODS: This study recruited 46 patients with chronic hepatitis B. Patients underwent 2D-SWE and texture analysis; Young's modulus values and textural patterns were obtained, respectively. Textural pattern was analyzed with regard to contrast, correlation, angular second moment (ASM), and homogeneity. Pathological results of biopsy specimens were the gold standard; comparison and assessment of the diagnosis efficiency were conducted for 2D-SWE, texture analysis and their combination.

RESULTS: 2D-SWE displayed diagnosis efficiency in early fibrosis, significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis, and early cirrhosis (AUC > 0.7, P < 0.05) with respective AUC values of 0.823 (0.678-0.921), 0.808 (0.662-0.911), 0.920 (0.798-0.980), and 0.855 (0.716-0.943). Contrast and homogeneity displayed independent diagnosis efficiency in liver fibrosis stage (AUC > 0.7, P < 0.05), whereas correlation and ASM showed limited values. AUC of contrast and homogeneity were respectively 0.906 (0.779-0.973), 0.835 (0.693-0.930), 0.807 (0.660-0.910) and 0.925 (0.805-0.983), 0.789 (0.639-0.897), 0.736 (0.582-0.858), 0.705 (0.549-0.883) and 0.798 (0.650-0.904) in four liver fibrosis stages, which exhibited equivalence to 2D-SWE in diagnostic efficiency (P > 0.05). Combined diagnosis (PRE) displayed diagnostic efficiency (AUC > 0.7, P < 0.01) for all fibrosis stages with respective AUC of 0.952 (0.841-0.994), 0.896 (0.766-0.967), 0.978 (0.881-0.999), 0.947 (0.835-0.992). The combined diagnosis showed higher diagnosis efficiency over 2D-SWE in early liver fibrosis (P < 0.05), whereas no significant differences were observed in other comparisons (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Texture analysis was capable of diagnosing liver fibrosis stage, combined diagnosis had obvious advantages in early liver fibrosis, liver fibrosis stage might be related to the hepatic tissue hardness distribution.

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