Background & Aims: We investigated the correlation between histological characteristics and changes in liver stiffness (LS) in patients with sustained virological response (SVR) using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography. Methods: In this prospective study, we enrolled 176 hepatitis C patients with SVR who underwent ARFI elastography and liver biopsy before antiviral treatment, and serial ARFI elastography at the end of treatment (EOT) and at 24 weeks after the EOT. To compare the long-term changes in LS in patients with SVR using ARFI elastography, another group of 140 patients who had undergone paired biopsy after achieving SVR was included. Results: Mean LS values were 1.60±0.63 m/s, 1.48±0.56 m/s and 1.37±0.62 m/s at baseline, EOT and 24 weeks after EOT, respectively, P<.001. Higher inflammatory activity at baseline was associated with an improvement in LS at the EOT, with an odds ratio of 1.940. Significant fibrosis at baseline was associated with an improvement in LS at 24 weeks after the EOT, with an odds ratio of 2.617. Among patients in the paired biopsy group with baseline fibrosis stage identical to the ARFI group, LS values at 24 weeks after the EOT did not show any difference with values at 5 years after EOT. Conclusions: Pre-treatment histological characteristics influence LS reduction after SVR is achieved.
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