FibroScan is a non-invasive diagnostic device that uses ultrasound-based technology to assess the “stiffness” of the liver. This diagnostic method is also known as liver elastography and it’s highly effective in revealing how stiff, fatty, and inflamed a patient’s liver is.
The FibroScan device delivers high-frequency sound waves to the liver. If the liver is supple, the sound will bounce back quickly. If it is stiff or inflamed it will take longer for the sound to bounce back.
The use of FibroScan is particularly helpful in quantifying liver fibrosis. Liver fibrosis is a dynamic process that occurs as a response to liver disease or injury (e.g., viral hepatitis, diabetes, etc.). It’s basically the liver’s attempt to revive itself and replace damaged cells.
During these attempts, abnormally large amounts of scar tissue may form inside the liver. This scarring phenomenon will get progressively more intense if the liver injury/disease is left untreated. If left unchecked, it can lead to severe cirrhosis of the liver.
FibroScan is a safe and painless procedure that can detect liver fibrosis in its early stages. It is also more accurate than traditional blood tests and biopsies when it comes to distinguishing between early/advanced stages of liver fibrosis.
This early and more accurate detection of liver fibrosis can prevent the progression of many serious liver diseases like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or hepatitis C cirrhosis. FibroScan tests can be performed quickly in outpatient settings.
The test results can help surgeons provide better diagnoses, and treatments, and drastically improve patient outcomes. This is especially true for people who have excess fat in their livers because of obesity. This condition is known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver-related disease in the world and its prevalence is only increasing with time. Between 1990 and 2006, the global prevalence of NAFLD was roughly 25%. Between 2016 and 2019, that figure jumped to 38%.
NAFLD will continue to be the leading cause of liver-related morbidity/mortality in the world until better diagnostic and treatment approaches are adopted. That is where FibroScan can help. Currently, performing liver biopsies is the most common way to diagnose NAFLD.
This costly and invasive procedure is very hard to perform. Plus, they are prone to sampling errors. For example, if fibrosis is not consistent throughout the liver, a biopsy will not be able to determine what stage of fibrosis the patient is currently in.
FibroScan, on the other hand, is cost-effective, easy to perform, and reveals way more in-depth information about the extent of liver scarring.
Anyone suffering from a liver-related condition, be it cirrhosis, diabetes, or alcohol abuse, can benefit from undergoing this diagnostic procedure. The procedure is pain-free, non-invasive, and takes no more than 15 minutes.
These are the reasons why FibroScan is set to replace traditional liver biopsy as the most important diagnostic procedure for liver-related conditions in the 21st century!
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Ultrasound Liver Elastography, a breakthrough in hepatology, transforms liver health assessment with its non-invasive approach. This blog explores its significance in revolutionizing the detection and
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