Noninvasive, quantitative evaluation of hepatic steatosis of donor livers by reference frequency method: A preliminary study

Jieyang Jin, Ping Gong, Qing Yang, Dayang Hui, Hongjun Zhang, Chen Qiu, Nana Wang, Shuhong Yi, Rongqin Zheng, Yang Yang, Jie Ren, Shigao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Evaluating degree of hepatic steatosis is of great value for prognosis of liver transplantation. There is an urgent need for a non-invasive method to assess hepatic steatosis grade of donor livers. Purpose of our study was to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of attenuation coefficient estimation (ACE) by reference frequency method (RFM) in detecting hepatic steatosis of donor livers. Method: We retrospectively enrolled 62 potential liver donors which underwent ACE by RFM ex-vivo, in-vivo or both. We acquired raw data of B-mode images of liver parenchyma and offline-processes for attenuation estimation. Finally, we calculated and compared diagnostic performance of ACEs for steatosis grade detection and used histological results as the gold standard. Results: ACEs with none, mild and moderate hepatic steatosis were 0.57, 0.73 and 0.80 dB/cm/MHz in potential donor livers. The cutoff value to diagnose mild hepatic steatosis was 0.63 dB/cm/MHz and 0.77 dB/cm/MHz for moderate hepatic steatosis, and values for the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for diagnosis of mild and moderate hepatic steatosis were 0.92 and 0.90, respectively. Conclusions: According to our results, ACE by RFM is an accurate non-invasive method in detecting hepatic steatosis, which may be of great help for clinical evaluation of donor livers before liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109909
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Attenuation
  • Donor
  • Liver transplantation
  • Steatosis
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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