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MR elastography in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: inter-center and inter-analysis-method measurement reproducibility and accuracy at 3T.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-021-08381-z
ObjectivesTo assess reproducibility and fibrosis classification accuracy of magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)-determined liver stiffness measured manually at two different centers, and by automated analysis software in adults with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), using histopathology as a reference standard.
MethodsThis retrospective, cross-sectional study included 91 adults with NAFLD who underwent liver MRE and biopsy. MRE-determined liver stiffness was measured independently for this analysis by an image analyst at each of two centers using standardized manual analysis methodology, and separately by an automated analysis. Reproducibility was assessed pairwise by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman analysis. Diagnostic accuracy was assessed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses.
ResultsICC of liver stiffness measurements was 0.95 (95% CI: 0.93, 0.97) between center 1 and center 2 analysts, 0.96 (95% CI: 0.94, 0.97) between the center 1 analyst and automated analysis, and 0.94 (95% CI: 0.91, 0.96) between the center 2 analyst and automated analysis. Mean bias and 95% limits of agreement were 0.06 ± 0.38 kPa between center 1 and center 2 analysts, 0.05 ± 0.32 kPa between the center 1 analyst and automated analysis, and 0.11 ± 0.41 kPa between the center 2 analyst and automated analysis. The area under the ROC curves for the center 1 analyst, center 2 analyst, and automated analysis were 0.834, 0.833, and 0.847 for distinguishing fibrosis stage 0 vs. ≥ 1, and 0.939, 0.947, and 0.940 for distinguishing fibrosis stage ≤ 2 vs. ≥ 3.
ConclusionMRE-determined liver stiffness can be measured with high reproducibility and fibrosis classification accuracy at different centers and by an automated analysis.
Key points• Reproducibility of MRE liver stiffness measurements in adults with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is high between two experienced centers and between manual and automated analysis methods. • Analysts at two centers had similar high diagnostic accuracy for distinguishing dichotomized fibrosis stages. • Automated analysis provides similar diagnostic accuracy as manual analysis for advanced fibrosis.
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