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Vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE)

A technique to measure shear wave velocity in a tissue, such as the liver.

Technically a probe is placed inthe liver and returning shear waves are converted into a measure of liver stiffness.

The ultrasound transducer probe generates both an elastic shear wave that traverses the liver and a pulse echo that measures wave velocity through the liver.

Stiffer livers is are livers with fibrosis and cirrhosis.

More fibrotic tissue is stiffer and resistant to deformation from the shear wave.

Higher wave velocities indicate greater liver fibrosis.

Discovering stiffness may obviate liver biopsy.

Measures liver fibrosis noninvasively and correlates with the histopathological five-Stage scoring system of fibrosis stage 0 to stage 4.

VCTE testing can be used to demonstrate decrease in liver stiffness in patients who undergo successful antiviral therapy for viral hepatitis.

Ascites and obesity interferes with the test results as do inflammation, cholestasis, congestion, and food.

Postprandial increases in portal blood flow increase velocity, and therefore the patients should be fasting.

The test should not be performed and patient with ascites, or acute liver injury because of pool with transmission and information cause falsely elevated results.

Results are expressed in liver stiffness measurements ranging from 1.5 to 75 kPa.

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