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Transient elastography measurements of spleen stiffness as a predictor of clinically significant varices in children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harry Sutton, Emer Fitzpatrick, Mark Davenport, Charlotte Burford, Emma Alexander, Anil Dhawan, Tassos Grammatikopoulos

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

King's Authors



Investigate the use of spleen stiffness measurements (SSMs), measured by transient elastography (TE), for the prediction of clinically significant varices (CSV) in children with portal hypertension. 


 This observational cohort study included children selected for endoscopy, as per department protocol, between September 2015 and June 2016. Those included underwent single TE FibroScan for liver stiffness measurements and SSM. Clinical and laboratory data were collected and variceal prediction scores were calculated at time of elastography. 


 In total 67 children (32 boys) underwent TE. Fifty-two children (25 boys) had chronic liver disease (CLD), 15 (7 boys) portal vein thrombosis (PVT). In all children SSM was the best predictor of CSV+ve, with an optimal cut-off value of 38.0 kPa (area under the receiver operator curve [AUROC]=0.92, sensitivity= 89%, specificity=82%, P<0.01). In the CLD group SSM was also the best predictor, with an optimal cut-off value of 38.05 kPa (AUROC=0.90, sensitivity= 84%, specificity=87%, P< 0.01). In the PVT group only SSM was predictive of CSV+ve, with an optimal cutoff value of 16.8 kPa (AUROC=1.00, sensitivity=100%, specificity = 100%, P<0.001). For the prediction of GI bleeding (n=6), liver stiffness measurement performed the best, with an optimal cut-off value of 34.3 kPa (AUROC=0.84, sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 88%, P = 0.01). 


 SSM was the greatest predictor of CSV+ve in the whole cohort, and individual CLD and PVT groups. SSM could be used as a noninvasive screening tool for children with portal hypertension to stratify the risk of having CSV.

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