Until recently, liver biopsy has been the sole method to quantify fibrosis. This procedure is invasive, painful and carries the risk of bleeding and infection. These complications make liver biopsy an undesirable procedure to have performed repeatedly to monitor liver fibrosis. The procedure is costly and prone to sampling error due to the small volume of liver sampled with each biopsy, heterogeneity of fibrosis throughout the liver and interobserver variability in the interpretation of the specimen.
What is Fibroscan®
Fibroscan® (transient elastography) is a non-invasive method of assessing liver fibrosis based on the measurement of liver stiffness. The technique uses an ultrasound transducer probe to determine the speed of a shear wave emitted from a transducer probe directed towards the liver. The velocity of this wave is proportional to the density, stiffness or degree of fibrosis in the liver.
Acknowldement: Dr Alex Hodge