Can negligible hepatic steatosis determined by magnetic resonance imaging-proton density fat fraction obviate the need for liver biopsy in potential liver donors? Academic Article uri icon

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  • The purpose of this study is to determine whether magnetic resonance (MR)-proton density fat fraction (PDFF) estimate of negligible hepatic fat percentage (<5%) can exclude significant hepatic steatosis (≥10%) in living liver donor candidates obviating the need for liver biopsy and to perform intraindividual comparisons between MR-PDFF techniques for hepatic steatosis quantification. In an ethics-approved retrospective study, 144 liver donor candidates with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and 6-echo Dixon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between 2013 and 2015 were included. A subset of 32 candidates underwent liver biopsy. Hepatic fat percentage was determined using MR-PDFF and histopathology-determined fat fraction as the reference standard. A receiver operating characteristic analysis with positive predictive value, negative predictive value (NPV), sensitivity, and specificity was performed to discriminate between clinically significant steatosis (≥10%) or not (<10%) at MRS-PDFF and MRI-PDFF thresholds of 5% and 10%. Pearson correlation and Bland-Altman analyses between MRS-PDFF and MRI-PDFF were performed for intraindividual comparison of hepatic steatosis estimation. There was significant association between MRS-PDFF and MRI-PDFF with HP-FP. High NPV of 95% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78%-99%) and 100% (95% CI, 76%-100%) as well as an area under the curve of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.79-1.0) and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.84-1.0) were obtained with a cutoff threshold of 5% MRI-PDFF and MRS-PDFF, respectively, to exclude clinically significant steatosis (≥10%). Intraindividual comparison between MRS-PDFF and MRI-PDFF showed a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.83. Bland-Altman analysis showed a mean difference of 1% with 95% limits of agreement between -1% and 3%. MR-PDFF estimate of negligible hepatic fat percentage (<5%) has sufficient NPV for excluding clinically significant hepatic steatosis (≥10%) in living liver donor candidates obviating the need for liver biopsy. It may be sufficient to acquire only the multiecho Dixon MRI-PDFF for hepatic steatosis estimation. Liver Transplantation 24 470-477 2018 AASLD.


  • Satkunasingham, Janakan
  • Nik, Hooman Hosseini
  • Fischer, Sandra
  • Menezes, Ravi
  • Selzner, Nazia
  • Cattral, Mark
  • Grant, David
  • Jhaveri, Kartik

publication date

  • April 2018

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