Published: 2021-08-27

Elastography ultrasound for screening and early detection of esophageal varices

Abdelhamid Mohamed Abdou, Doha Jawad Alsafwani, Kamal Jamal Alamrousi, Alaa Ali Muri, Aseel Hassan Almagrabi, Faisal Thiab Alenazi, Almaha Abdulaziz Alabdullatif, Al-Khansa'a Ahmed Khabt, Alhareth Khalid Alhussain, Nawaf Nhari Kadomi, Noor Munir Altaroubi


Despite that esophageal varices can be effectively detected by using upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy, the procedure is invasive and requires the integration of adequate experience and training, and it is not suitable for many patients. Accordingly, ultrasound elastography has been developed and validated by many studies in the recent literature as effective and non-invasive modalities for the early observation and diagnosis of esophageal varices and the relevant hepatic diseases. In this study, we aim to conduct a literature review to furtherly elaborate on the role and validity of elastography ultrasound to screen and early detect esophageal varices. We have discussed the diagnostic efficacy of three different types of ultrasound elastography including two-dimensional shear wave elastography, point shear wave elastography, and transient elastography in detecting and early diagnosis of esophageal varies. Transient elastography (TE) has been reported to be efficacious and the simplest technique. However, it was reported with some limitations. These limitations could be compensated by the two-dimensional shear wave elastography and the point shear wave, Nevertheless, these two modalities need high levels of experience and are not widely available. Besides, there are a few investigations that have validated the efficacy of the latter in detecting esophageal varices. Accordingly, we encourage further investigation for a future relevance.


Elastography, Ultrasound, Radiology, Esophageal varices, Diagnosis

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