Ultrasound findings of liver damage in a series of patients consecutively admitted for treatment of alcohol use disorder

Daniel Fuster, Xavier Garcia-Calvo, Paola Zuluaga, Inmaculada Rivas, Arantza Sanvisens, Jordi Tor, Robert Muga

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4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Background: To analyze ultrasound findings of liver damage in alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of detoxification patients. Clinical and laboratory parameters were obtained at admission. Analytical liver injury (ALI) was defined as at least two of the following: aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels ≥74 < 300 U/L, AST/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio >2, and total bilirubin >1.2 mg/dL. Advanced liver fibrosis (ALF) was defined as a FIB-4 score ≥3.25. Abdominal ultrasound was used to identify steatosis, hepatomegaly, heterogeneous liver, and portal hypertension. Predictors of these findings were determined by logistic regression. Results: We included 301 patients (80% male) with a median age of 46 years (IQR: 39–51 years) and alcohol consumption of 180 g/day (IQR: 120–201 g). The prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was 21.2%; AST and ALT serum levels were 42 U/L (IQR: 23–78 U/L) and 35 U/L (IQR: 19–60 U/L), respectively; 16% of patients had ALI and 24% ALF. Ultrasound findings were: 57.2% steatosis, 49.5% hepatomegaly, 17% heterogeneous liver, and 16% portal hypertension; 77% had at least one ultrasound abnormality, and 45% had ≥2. HCV infection was associated with heterogeneous liver (p = 0.046) and portal hypertension (p < 0.01). ALI and ALF were associated with steatosis (both p < 0.01) and hepatomegaly (both p < 0.01), ALI with portal hypertension (p = 0.08), and ALF with heterogeneous liver (p < 0.01). In logistic regression, ALI and ALF were associated with ≥2 abnormalities [OR (95%CI): 5.2 (2.1–12.8), p < 0.01 and 4.7 (2.2–9.7), p < 0.01; respectively]. Conclusions: Ultrasound findings of liver damage may facilitate clinical decisions and alcohol cessation in AUD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-199
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Steatosis
  • Ultrasound


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