MR Elastography‐Based Liver Fibrosis Correlates with Liver Events in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Patients: A Multicenter Study

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Liver International

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Background & Aims Liver fibrosis assessed by liver biopsy is predictive of clinical liver events in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) correlates with liver biopsy in assessing liver fibrosis. However, data assessing the relationship between MRE and clinical liver events are lacking. We investigated the association between MRE and clinical liver events/death and identified the cut-off to predict clinical liver events in NAFLD patients. Methods We conducted a multicenter retrospective study of NAFLD patients who underwent MRE between 2016 and 2019. Clinical liver events were defined as decompensation events and death. We categorized patients into noncirrhosis, compensated cirrhosis and decompensated cirrhosis. Fisher's exact test was used to test association strength. Receiver operative curve methods were used to determine the optimal cut-off of MRE liver stiffness and to maximize the accuracy for classifying noncirrhosis, compensated cirrhosis and decompensated cirrhosis. Logistic regression modelling was used to predict decompensation. Results The study included 320 NAFLD patients who underwent MRE. The best threshold for distinguishing cirrhosis from noncirrhosis was 4.39 kPa (AUROC 0.92) and from decompensated cirrhosis was 6.48 kPa (AUROC 0.71). Odds of decompensation increased as liver stiffness increased (OR 3.28) (P < .001). Increased liver stiffness was associated with ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, oesophageal variceal bleeding and mortality (median 7.10, 10.15 and 10.15 kPa respectively). Conclusion In NAFLD patients, liver stiffness measured by MRE with a cut-off of >= 6.48 kPa is associated with decompensation and mortality, and specific MRE cut-offs are predictive of individual clinical liver events.


Decompensated Cirrhosis; Liver Biopsy; Liver Fibrosis; Magnetic Resonance Elastography; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Transient Elastography


Diseases | Medicine and Health Sciences



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