Aim: Esophagogastric variceal hemorrhage is a cause of poor prognosis in patients with biliary atresia (BA). To prevent variceal hemorrhage, simple and reliable screening methods for high-risk esophagogastric varices (HR-EGV) are needed. We evaluated the efficacy of liver stiffness (LS) and spleen stiffness (SS) as measured by 2-D shear wave elastography (2D-SWE), which was reported to be more accurate than transient elastography, for detecting HR-EGV in children with BA. Methods: Thirty-four children with BA were enrolled. Both LS and SS were measured by 2D-SWE. The presence of large esophageal varices or esophageal varices of any size with red wale marking and/or the presence of gastric varices along the cardia were defined as HR-EGV. Clinical data were collected and previously reported prediction indices for varices were calculated. Results: Liver stiffness and SS were obtained from all patients. Fourteen patients showed HR-EGV. Significantly different variables between patients with and without HR-EGV were as follows: spleen diameter (116 mm vs. 95 mm), clinical prediction rule (104.7 vs. 124.7), King's variceal prediction score (78.8 vs. 99.4), aspartic aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (2.03 vs. 0.98), LS (2.63 m/s vs. 1.87 m/s), and SS (4.44 m/s vs. 3.69 m/s). The highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for detecting HR-EGV was that for SS (0.900), and the cut-off SS of 4.12 m/s yielded 92.9% sensitivity and 90% specificity. The intraclass correlation coefficient for intra-observer reproducibility was 0.828. Conclusions: Spleen stiffness from 2D-SWE offered the most accurate predictor of HR-EGV in BA children.
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