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What is Fibroscan?

Fibroscan is a medical device that used ultrasound waves rather than a liver biopsy to determine the liver injury and measure the density of the scar tissue in the liver. This method can measure the fat accumulation in the liver quantitatively using the sound waves without any invasive intervention to the body and the liver. These measurements can cover an area of liver that is 100 times larger compared to a liver biopsy.

Liver is an organ, which function as a factory producing the necessary constituents for our body and a purification center that excretes the harmful substances from the body. Although many hepatotoxic conditions cause irreversible injury, the regeneration capacity of the liver can mostly eliminate these injuries. That being said, the structure of liver deteriorates in time due to long consumption of alcohol and potentially harmful medication and chronic diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and hepatosteatosis , and it begins to harden. If these conditions are not diagnosed in time and necessary treatments are not started, liver cirrhosis may occur. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to early diagnose the liver diseases, since liver does not cause any complaints before large portion is permanently damaged and blood tests does not help the diagnosis during this period. During this period, the scar tissue (fibrosis) must be evaluated to determine whether there is liver damage or not, and if yes, to which degree. Within this respect, the method, which has been used for many years and accepted as the golden standard, is liver biopsy. Since liver biopsy has risks such as bleeding, pain, damage to the biliary tract and requires hospitalization, it is only performed under certain conditions.

How Is Fibroscan Performed?

You should not eat for at least 3 hours before the procedure. No additional preparation is needed other than fasting. The procedure is performed from the right side between the ribs, when patients are lying on their back. The measurements are made with placing specially developed probes on the skin in described regions. The accuracy of the measurements are check both by the physician and software of the device. Patients do not feel any pain during the 5-10 minutes long scan. At the end of the procedure, the report is automatically issued and provided to the patient.

With fibroscan utilized instead of liver biopsy , damage level can be determined by measuring the accumulated fat tissue level and the hardness of the liver (fibrosis) . According to the fibroscan results, an individual treatment can also be planned. This imaging can be used as an effective method for monitorization of many liver diseases and evaluation of treatment response.

  • Easily performed and repeatable. It can be used not just for diagnosis but for monitorization.
  • It is not an interventional procedure, does not have any side effects and does not cause any pain or discomfort in patients.
  • Its duration is very short. (5-10 min.)
  • Results are instantly avaliable. The accuracy of the results are controlled both by the physician and the software of the device.

Published by Acıbadem Web and Medical Content Editorial Board Update Date: Thursday, April 27, 2023 Publish Date: Thursday, April 27, 2023

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