Fibroscan is a non-invasive test that helps assess the health of your liver. Specifically, it uses ultrasound technology to determine the degree of fibrosis or scarring that may be present in your liver from various liver diseases or conditions. This information is then used by your gastroenterologist to individualize and optimize your treatment plan. For some patients, Fibroscan can replace liver biopsy.
FibroScan test results are always used in conjunction with other clinical data, laboratory test results, and liver imaging in managing individual patients.
By the time patients develop symptoms such as jaundice, ascites, encephalopathy,and gastrointestinal bleeding, the liver disease is advanced and the lifespan of the patient is significantly reduced. About 50% of patients presenting with above symptoms die within 1-1 ½ year of diagnosis. It is therefore of utmost importance that an early diagnosis is made so that early treatment may prevent disease progression and save life.
Till recently the best method for diagnosis of cirrhosis was liver biopsy which is not only invasive, but costly and associated with complications. We now have a novel technique, the fibroscan, which allows noninvasive assessment of liver stiffness (fibrosis and cirrhosis), thus, obviating the need for liver biopsy. In addition to quantification of liver fibrosis, the fibroscan also quantitates the amount of fat in liver.
The method is not only cheaper and non-invasive, but quicker and equally accurate as liver biopsy in diagnosis. It also helps in monitoring the progression or regression of liver disease, thus allowing treatment to be tailored to individual needs.