What is hepatic elastography (Fibroscan™)?
Hepatic elastography, also called Fibroscan™, is an in-office, ultrasound imaging test that checks your liver for signs of fibrosis—or scarring. This scarring impairs your liver’s ability to function, and when severe is referred to as “cirrhosis”. You can develop fibrosis as a result of many chronic liver diseases. The Fibroscan™ can also measure the amount of fat deposits in your liver cells. Fat deposits in the liver cells can lead to chronic inflammation and fibrosis. Diabetes and higher body weight may be associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (“NAFLD”).
Fibroscan™ is a painless, fast and non-invasive alternative to liver biopsy as a way to measure fibrosis. It allows your doctor to both diagnose fatty liver disease and measure the severity/ progression of fatty liver disease so s/he can intervene to treat it in the early stages. Left untreated, the scar tissue build-up can result in cirrhosis of the liver, which is non-reversible and can be life-threatening.
What is involved with this test?
Fibroscan™ tests are conducted in our office. You will lie down on a table and your doctor or a Medical Assistant will apply gel on the right side of your abdomen, then glide a wand-like device over the area. The wand sends sound waves (ultrasound) to your liver that allow the machine to measure its stiffness. There is no radiation involved.
Fibroscan™ is a painless procedure and will last only a few minutes.
Preparing for the procedure
You should not eat for three hours before a Fibroscan™ test.
What can I expect after hepatic elastography?
If your Fibroscan™ reveals that you have Fatty Liver Disease, your doctor may prescribe medication and/or refer you to see one of our dietitians for nutritional counseling. Diet modification is an essential part of treatment for Fatty Liver Disease for all people, regardless of their body weight. Weight loss may also be advised as part of your treatment if you have a higher body mass index (BMI).