Efficacy of shear wave elastography for assessment of liver function in patients with heart failure

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Aims: Liver dysfunction is important for prognosis in heart failure (HF). Shear wave elastography (SWE), which is a novel ultrasound technique for charactering tissues, has been used in liver diseases. However, clinical implication of SWE, including dispersion slope, remains unknown in heart diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of SWE assessing liver function in the severity of HF. Methods and results: We enrolled 316 consecutive patients with or suspected heart diseases, who were classified according to the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association stage of HF, including 37 with Stage A, 139 with Stage B, 114 with Stage C, and 26 with Stage D, and 45 normal subjects. Elasticity and dispersion slope of shear wave were assessed according to the HF stage. Elasticity and dispersion slope were not elevated in normal subjects and patients with Stage A. Elasticity was slightly increased from Stage A to Stage C and was remarkably elevated in Stage D (normal: 5.2 ± 1.1 kPa, Stage A: 5.4 ± 1.2 kPa, Stage B: 6.4 ± 1.8 kPa, Stage C: 7.8 ± 3.5 kPa, and Stage D: 17.7 ± 12.7 kPa), whereas dispersion slope was gradually increased from Stage A to Stage D (normal: 9.7 ± 1.7m/s/kHz, Stage A: 10.4 ± 1.6m/s/kHz, Stage B: 11.7 ± 2.4m/s/kHz, Stage C: 13.2 ± 3.4m/s/kHz, and Stage D: 17.6 ± 5.6 m/s/kHz). In the early HF stage, dispersion slope was elevated. In the advanced HF stage, both elasticity and dispersion slope were elevated. Liver function test abnormalities were observed only from Stage C or Stage D. Conclusions: Dispersion slope could detect early liver damage, and the combination of elasticity and dispersion slope could clarify the progression of liver dysfunction in HF. SWE may be valuable to manage therapeutic strategies in patients with HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1751-1758
Number of pages8
JournalESC heart failure
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Dispersion slope
  • Elasticity
  • Heart failure
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Shear wave elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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