Rapid, painless, and completely non-invasive examination of your liver.
The Fibroscan is an FDA-approved device for the measurement of fibrosis. We are fortunate to have the use of this machine because of the generosity of Mr. James Salatto, who gifted the device to Yale New Haven Hospital for its shared usage among the physicians of Yale’s Section of Digestive Disease and Connecticut Gastroenterology Consultants.
The Fibroscan is a device that allows for non-invasive assessment of liver “stiffness” as a result of fibrosis. A normal liver without fibrosis is soft, however a diseased liver becomes more fibrotic, from many causes such as alcohol, fatty liver or Hepatitis C. Fibrosis ranges from stage 1 or minimal fibrosis to stage 4 or cirrhosis. For a patient to undergo antiviral therapy for Hepatitis C for example, traditionally in the past a liver biopsy would be required to quantitate the fibrosis before determining the need for treatment. With the advent of the Fibroscan, a patient can now be tested for fibrosis without the need for an invasive procedure. Moreover test can be arranged with the result immediately available, a lot sooner that otherwise possible with a liver biopsy. For instance of the first 100 Hepatitis C patients in our practice who underwent a Fibroscan measurement of fibrosis, the average time to the start of antiviral therapy was less than 30 days, much shorter than for our Hepatitis C patients who previously had required a liver biopsy in which the onset of treatment was many months later. Thus these patients can be diagnosed and treated sooner with the Fibroscan device.
The Fibroscan provides an easy and safe estimation of fibrosis that is applicable for most patients with liver disease. There are some who may need a liver biopsy but for the majority of patients this will not be necessary.
This scanner can also be used to estimate fibrosis in patients with other diseases such Fatty Liver, also known as Steatosis or Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, which has become increasingly common in the United States.