Correlation of laparoscopic liver biopsy to elasticity measurements (FibroScan) in patients with chronic liver disease

Carmine G. Nudo, Lennox J. Jeffers, Pablo A Bejarano, Luis A. Servin-Abad, Zvi Leibovici, Maria De Medina, Eugene R. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Elastography is a noninvasive method to assess liver fibrosis by measuring liver stiffness. Studies have compared elastography to percutaneous biopsy. Laparoscopic biopsy is associated with decreased sampling error compared to percutaneous biopsy, as laparoscopic biopsies are obtained from both liver lobes and gross nodularity can be visualized. Methods: Patients undergoing laparoscopic liver biopsy were enrolled. Gross liver appearance was assessed, and biopsy specimens were blindly evaluated by a pathologist. Elastography (FibroScan) was used to measure liver stiffness. Results: 101 patients were examined. Fibrosis was related to elasticity (Spearman correlation r=0.63; P<.0001). Elasticity was strongly associated with advanced stages of fibrosis (stages 3 and 4; Spearman correlation r2=0.44; P<.001). Significant fibrosis was associated with an irregular liver surface, nodularity, and thickened edge (multiple regression r2=0.41; P<.001). Increased elasticity was associated with a fatty-appearing liver, irregular surface, firmness, and nodularity (multiple regression r2=0.46; P<.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve for elasticity for identifying patients with a liver fibrosis stage of at least 3 or of 4 had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.85 or 0.86, respectively. AUC was 0.857 when gross nodularity was used as the gold standard for cirrhosis and 0.875 when nodularity/histology were used. Elasticity of at least 7 kPa, at least 9.5 kPa, and at least 11.8 kPa had the highest accuracy for identifying patients with a fibrosis stage of at least 2, at least 3, and 4, respectively. In hepatitis C patients, AUC was 0.921, 0.882, and 0.925 when histology, gross nodularity, and nodularity/histology, respectively, were used as the gold standard for cirrhosis. Conclusion: FibroScan could be useful for detecting advanced stages of fibrosis when validated against laparoscopic liver biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-870
Number of pages9
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Cirrhosis
  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Laparoscopic liver biopsy
  • Liver elasticity
  • Liver nodularity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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