Ultrasonography.  2022 Oct;41(4):761-769. 10.14366/usg.21246.

Accuracy of attenuation imaging in the assessment of pediatric hepatic steatosis: correlation with the controlled attenuation parameter

  • 1Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2University of Ulsan Foundation for Industry Cooperation, Ulsan, Korea
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


This study evaluated the accuracy of attenuation imaging (ATI) for the assessment of hepatic steatosis in pediatric patients, in comparison with the FibroScan vibration-controlled transient elastography controlled attenuation parameter (CAP).
Consecutive pediatric patients referred for evaluation of obesity who underwent both ATI and FibroScan between February 2020 and September 2021 were included. The correlation between attenuation coefficient (AC) and CAP values was assessed using the Spearman test. The AC cutoff value for discriminating hepatic steatosis corresponding to a CAP value of 241 dB/m was calculated. Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to estimate the strength of the association between AC and CAP. The diagnostic accuracy of AC cutoffs was estimated using the imperfect gold-standard methodology based on a two-level Bayesian latent class model.
Seventy patients (median age, 12.5 years; interquartile range, 11.0 to 14.0 years; male:female, 58:12) were included. AC and CAP showed a moderate-to-good correlation (ρ =0.646, P<0.001). Multivariable regression analysis affirmed the significant association between AC and CAP (P<0.001). The correlation was not evident in patients with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (ρ=-0.202, P=0.551). Linear regression revealed that an AC cutoff of 0.66 dB/cm/MHz corresponded to a CAP of 241 dB/m (sensitivity, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85 to 0.98 and specificity, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.00).
ATI showed an acceptable correlation with CAP values in a pediatric population, especially in patients with a body mass index <30 kg/m2. An AC cutoff of 0.66 dB/cm/MHz, corresponding to a CAP of 241 dB/m, can accurately diagnose hepatic steatosis.


Pediatrics; Obesity; Fatty liver; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Ultrasonography
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