Advanced Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Therapy ›› 2021, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (3): 197-203.doi: 10.37015/AUDT.2021.210014

• Review Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ultrasound Elastography in Liver Tissue: Current Status

Mingzhu Zhang, MDa, Zhaoyan Ding, MDa, Xiaoyan Niu, MDa, Yuxiu Gao, MDa, Cheng Zhao, MDa,*()   

  1. aDepartment of Ultrasound, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, China
  • Received:2021-05-24 Revised:2021-06-20 Online:2021-09-30 Published:2021-08-31
  • Contact: Cheng Zhao, MD,


Chronic liver disease is common in China and worldwide, with liver fibrosis as the primary pathological finding. Any chronic liver disease can lead to hepatic fibrosis and gradually develop into cirrhosis. Complications, such as portal hypertension, gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver failure can occur. Some patients even develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Thus, timely diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis is vital for the assessment of etiology, treatment, and prognosis. Conventional ultrasound imaging shows low sensitivity with its subjectivity for preliminary diagnosis of liver fibrosis, creating limitations in qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Ultrasound elastography is a recently developed technique that can help overcome these limitations. The elastic imaging method combines conventional ultrasound to assess liver stiffness along with routine examination. This "one-stop" check for liver disease opens new prospects for clinical and scientific research and improves the accuracy of disease diagnosis for broad clinical application. This article will review the current status of ultrasound elastography for its applications in chronic liver diseases.

Key words: Chronic liver disease; Ultrasound; Shear wave elastography; Transient elastography; Point shear wave elastography; Two-dimensional shear wave elastography