Specialists now have more state-of-the-art non-invasive tests at hand to detect and manage liver disease. FibroScan® is the latest non-invasive assessment tool that allow better screening and monitoring of liver disease.
FibroScan® is a test that measures the degree of liver stiffness — that is, the stage of liver disease — via transient elastography (TE). It also quantifies the level of fat (steatosis) in the liver.
What does FibroScan® do?
This is very useful in the assessment of patients with chronic liver disease, including chronic hepatitis C, chronic hepatitis B, chronic alcohol abuse and fatty liver. The FibroScan® works on the basis that, as more fibrosis and scarring occurs, the higher the liver stiffness reading. This reading may be used to:
- estimate the existing degree of liver damage
- monitor disease progression or regression
- guide prognosis and further management, including treatment
Early detection of liver fibrosis provides an opportunity to arrest and potentially reverse ongoing damage to the liver.
How it works?
The non-invasive test is pain-free and typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes. An ultrasound-like probe will be placed on the abdomen near the right lobe of the liver while the patient is lying facing upwards. A mechanical pulse runs through the liver to create an ‘elastic wave’. This measures the velocity of the sound wave passing through the liver and converts it into a liver stiffness measurement.
In addition, the controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) quantifies the degree of ultrasound attenuation based on vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE). The results are available immediately after the scan. Screening is critical as it helps detect liver fibrosis at an earlier stage when the condition is more treatable.