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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Ultrasonography for diagnosis of alcoholic cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (76th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

Mentioned by

1 policy source
6 tweeters
1 Facebook page


21 Dimensions

Readers on

165 Mendeley
Ultrasonography for diagnosis of alcoholic cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011602.pub2
Pubmed ID

Chavdar S Pavlov, Giovanni Casazza, Marianna Semenistaia, Dimitrinka Nikolova, Emmanuel Tsochatzis, Ekaterina Liusina, Vladimir T Ivashkin, Christian Gluud


Heavy alcohol consumption causes alcoholic liver disease and is a causal factor of many types of liver injuries and concomitant diseases. It is a true systemic disease that may damage the digestive tract, the nervous system, the heart and vascular system, the bone and skeletal muscle system, and the endocrine and immune system, and can lead to cancer. Liver damage in turn, can present as multiple alcoholic liver diseases, including fatty liver, steatohepatitis, fibrosis, alcoholic cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, with presence or absence of hepatitis B or C virus infection. There are three scarring types (fibrosis) that are most commonly found in alcoholic liver disease: centrilobular scarring, pericellular fibrosis, and periportal fibrosis. When liver fibrosis progresses, alcoholic cirrhosis occurs. Hepatocellular carcinoma occurs in 5% to 15% of people with alcoholic cirrhosis, but people in whom hepatocellular carcinoma has developed are often co-infected with hepatitis B or C virus.Abstinence from alcohol may help people with alcoholic disease in improving their prognosis of survival at any stage of their disease; however, the more advanced the stage, the higher the risk of complications, co-morbidities, and mortality, and lesser the effect of abstinence. Being abstinent one month after diagnosis of early cirrhosis will improve the chance of a seven-year life expectancy by 1.6 times. Liver transplantation is the only radical method that may change the prognosis of a person with alcoholic liver disease; however, besides the difficulties of finding a suitable liver transplant organ, there are many other factors that may influence a person's survival.Ultrasound is an inexpensive method that has been used for years in clinical practice to diagnose alcoholic cirrhosis. Ultrasound parameters for assessing cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease encompass among others liver size, bluntness of the liver edge, coarseness of the liver parenchyma, nodularity of the liver surface, size of the lymph nodes around the hepatic artery, irregularity and narrowness of the inferior vena cava, portal vein velocity, and spleen size.Diagnosis of cirrhosis by ultrasound, especially in people who are asymptomatic, may have its advantages for the prognosis, motivation, and treatment of these people to decrease their alcohol consumption or become abstinent.Timely diagnosis of alcoholic cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease is the cornerstone for evaluation of prognosis or choosing treatment strategies. To determine the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonography for detecting the presence or absence of cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease compared with liver biopsy as reference standard.To determine the diagnostic accuracy of any of the ultrasonography tests, B-mode or echo-colour Doppler ultrasonography, used singly or combined, or plus ultrasonography signs, or a combination of these, for detecting hepatic cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease compared with liver biopsy as a reference standard, irrespective of sequence. We performed searches in The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies Register, The Cochrane Library (Wiley), MEDLINE (OvidSP), EMBASE (OvidSP), and the Science Citation Index Expanded to 8 January 2015. We applied no language limitations.We screened study references of the retrieved studies to identify other potentially relevant studies for inclusion in the review and read abstract and poster publications. Three review authors independently identified studies for possible inclusion in the review. We excluded references not fulfilling the inclusion criteria of the review protocol. We sent e-mails to study authors.The included studies had to evaluate ultrasound in the diagnosis of hepatic cirrhosis using only liver biopsy as the reference standard.The maximum time interval of investigation with liver biopsy and ultrasonography should not have exceeded six months. In addition, ultrasonography could have been performed before or after liver biopsy. We followed the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy. The review included two studies that provided numerical data regarding alcoholic cirrhosis in 205 men and women with alcoholic liver disease. Although there were no applicability concerns in terms of participant selection, index text, and reference standard, we judged the two studies at high risk of bias. Participants in both studies had undergone both liver biopsy and ultrasonography investigations. The studies shared only a few comparable clinical signs and symptoms (index tests).We decided to not perform a meta-analysis due to the high risk of bias and the high degree of heterogeneity of the included studies. As the accuracy of ultrasonography in the two included studies was not informative enough, we could not recommend the use of ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool for liver cirrhosis in people with alcoholic liver disease. In order to be able to answer the review questions, we need diagnostic ultrasonography prospective studies of adequate sample size, enrolling only participants with alcoholic liver disease.The design and report of the studies should follow the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy. The sonographic features, with validated cut-offs, which may help identify clinical signs used for diagnosis of fibrosis in alcoholic liver disease, should be carefully selected to achieve maximum diagnostic accuracy on ultrasonography.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 165 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 164 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 28 17%
Student > Master 26 16%
Researcher 16 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 7%
Student > Postgraduate 9 5%
Other 19 12%
Unknown 55 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 59 36%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 8%
Psychology 6 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 5 3%
Other 14 8%
Unknown 63 38%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 7. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 April 2022.
All research outputs
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Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 252 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,538,320 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 80th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,731 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 33.0. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 300,235 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 252 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 40th percentile – i.e., 40% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.