An increasingly common cause of chronic liver disease in adults and children is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The diagnosis of NAFLD was traditionally based on the histopathological changes of the liver, evaluated by needle liver biopsy, an invasive method, with potential adverse effects and great inter and intraobserver variability. The noninvasive methods for the assessment of both fibrosis and steatosis in patients with NAFLD have increasingly been studied lately. Of these noninvasive methods, in this chapter, we will focus on the methods assessing the stiffness of liver parenchyma, i.e. elastographic methods, of which, the most widely used are ultrasound elastography techniques. We will discuss the principal elastographic methods of some utility in NAFLD, i.e. shear wdave elastography (SWE) (quantitative elastography), and especially transient elastography, point SWE (acoustic radiation force impulse elastography, ARFI) and two-dimensional real-time SWE (Supersonic). For each method usable in NAFLD cases, we will review the method principle, examination technique and performance in NAFLD evaluation.
Part of the book: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease