Ultrasound attenuation and backscatter in the liver during prednisone administration

Z. F. Lu, J. A. Zagzebski, R. T. O'Brien, H. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrasound attenuation and backscatter changes resulting from glucocorticoid administration were investigated in a dog model. Ten beagle dogs were randomized into two groups: five were given 2 mg/kg/day IM injections of prednisone to induce steroid hepatopathy and five served as controls. Histology showed vacuolization in most hepatocytes of treated animals on the third day of treatment, and larger, midzonally distributed vacuoles from day 7 on. An increase in both ultrasonic attenuation and backscatter was observed in treated dogs during in vivo measurements. Pooled data from the two groups suggest that attenuation elevations precede backscatter changes. Attenuation was significantly higher in the treated animals than in the controls by day 7. Both attenuation and backscatter were significantly higher in livers of treated than untreated dogs when measured by direct application of the transducer on the liver following euthanasia. We conclude that attenuation and backscatter coefficients can detect early changes in the liver associated with steroid hepatopathy. This may be a useful model to investigate detection of diffuse liver disease with ultrasound tissue characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Liver
  • Prednisone
  • Quantitative ultrasound imaging
  • Steroid Hepatopathy
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound attenuation
  • Ultrasound backscattering
  • Veterinary ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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