Performance of magnetic resonance elastography in primary sclerosing cholangitis

John E. Eaton, Bogdan Dzyubak, Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, Thomas C. Smyrk, Gregory J. Gores, Richard L. Ehman, Nicholas F. Larusso, Andrea A. Gossard, Konstantinos N. Lazaridis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background and Aim:: Liver stiffness (LS) measured by magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is emerging as an important biomarker in chronic liver diseases. We examined the diagnostic performance of MRE, factors associated with an increased LS and the prognostic value of LS as measured by MRE among patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Methods:: We performed a retrospective review of 266 patients with PSC to examine whether LS was associated with the primary endpoint of hepatic decompensation (ascites, variceal hemorrhage and hepatic encephalopathy). The ability of MRE to differentiate stages of fibrosis was examined in a subset of patients who underwent a liver biopsy (n=20). Results:: An LS of 4.93kPa was the optimal point to detected F4 fibrosis (sensitivity, 1.00; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.40-1.00; specificity, 0.94; 95%CI, 0.68-1.00). While a serum alkaline phosphatase <1.5 times the upper limit of normal excluded the presence of advanced LS, it was not associated with the primary endpoint (hazard ratio, 0.26; 95%CI, 0.01-1.33). However, LS was associated with the development of decompensated liver disease (hazard ratio, 1.55; 95%CI, 1.41-1.70). The optimal LS thresholds that stratified patients at a low, medium and high risk for hepatic decompensation were <4.5, 4.5-6.0 and >6.0kPa (respectively). Conclusion:: Magnetic resonance elastography is able to detect cirrhosis with high specificity and an alkaline phosphatase <1.5 times the upper limit of normal makes the presence of advanced LS unlikely. Moreover, LS obtained by MRE is predictive of hepatic decompensation in PSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1190
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Liver stiffness
  • Magnetic resonance elastography
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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