What is Fibroscan?
Fibroscan is a noninvasive method of assessing liver scarring, termed fibrosis. It is a new ultrasound based technology that allows accurate assessment of liver fibrosis
Where do I have the procedure?
Performed at the bedside in the clinic, a mechanical pulse is generated at the skin surface, which is propagated through the liver. The velocity of the wave is measured by ultrasound. The speed of this wave correlates with the stiffness of the liver, which in turn reflects the degree of fibrosis – the stiffer the liver is the greater the degree of fibrosis.
What happens in the procedure?
The patient lies on his or her back, right arm raised behind the head. The measurement is made on the right lobe of the liver by intercostal route using a dedicated probe with a vibrating system. The examination is composed of 10 acquisitions. These are easy to perform, and rapid, the measurement is expressed with a clear figure in kilopascals (kPa), which is the median of the 10 readings.
What is the preparation?
There is no specific preparation and the test can be done at the time of the clinic appointment.
What are the adverse effects?
There are no specific adverse effects. But Fibroscan is not recommended for patients who are pregnant.
What are the results?
The result is given as a specific score in kilopascals (kPa) which is the median score of at least 10 readings. In viral hepatitis a score of less than 7 means no or insignificant liver fibrosis; a score of more than 12.5 kPa is severe fibrosis or cirrhosis and the results between this suggest moderate fibrosis.
How are these results useful?
Fibroscan can monitor the progression or regression of an individual’s liver disease and give an accurate quantitative measure of the success of treatments or lifestyle modification.