Skip to main content

What does a FibroScan test for?Jan 10, 2024

Why do you need a Fibroscan Test?

What is FibroScan?

FibroScan Testing is an FDA-approved non-invasive diagnostic device used to measure liver scarring or fibrosis caused by several liver diseases. Similar to undergoing a conventional liver ultrasound exam, outpatient FibroScan testing is quick, painless, and easy, and provides a non-surgical alternative to the traditional liver biopsy to assess liver damage.

R·MEDY is one of the first health centers in the Canada area to provide this innovative procedure.

Why is FibroScan necessary?

Due to the many concerns associated with damage to the liver, it is crucial to take your liver health seriously. This is where FibroScan testing can help. Once the FibroScan exam is complete, R·MEDY’s professionals can utilize this information to confirm and monitor liver issues, such as:

  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Genetic Diseases (such as Hemochromatosis and Wilson’s Disease)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Alcoholic Liver Disease
  • Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

How do FibroScans work?

FibroScans use elastography to evaluate liver health. A specialized probe sends low-frequency sound waves into the liver, and the device calculates the speed at which these waves travel through the tissue. The resulting measurement quantitatively assesses liver stiffness.

Fatty Liver Prevention and Testing -FibroScans

What to expect once arrive for the Test:

  • Plan to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled procedure time
  • Please bring your insurance/ID card, and a list of your current medications
  • FibroScan requires no sedation of any kind. You may drive yourself to and from.
  • For the procedure, you will lie on your back with your right arm raised behind your head, and your right abdominal area exposed (wear loose fitting clothing)
  • A medical provider will apply a water-based gel to your skin, then will place a non-invasive probe over your liver
  • During the exam, you may feel a slight vibration on the skin at the tip of the probe as it delivers ultrasound waves to the area for measuring purposes.

What is a normal FibroScan result?

It is important to speak with your doctor if you have any questions about your FibroScan results. In general, though, the FibroScan will provide you with a:

Cap Score: The amount of your liver with fatty change is measured by your CAP score in decibels per meter (dB/m) and corresponds to your steatosis grade (S1, S2, or S3). The lower the percentage of your liver with fatty change, the healthier your liver is and the lower your CAP score and steatosis grade from your FibroScan. A CAP score of 5% or lower indicates a healthy liver, while a CAP score of 5% to 33% with a steatosis grade of S1 indicates a mild fatty liver. CAP scores and steatosis grades higher than that indicate moderate to severe liver fat content and more liver damage.

Healthy Liver vs Fatty Liver FibroScan

Fibrosis Score: Based on the amount of scarring in your liver, as measured in kilopascals (kPa), you will receive a fibrosis score. The lower the score, the less scarring you have on your liver and the healthier your liver is. A normal result is between 2 and 6 kPa. A fibrosis score of F0 to F1 indicates no liver scarring or mild liver scarring. The highest score possible is F4, which indicates advanced liver scarring, or cirrhosis.

Healthy Liver vs Cirrhosis  FibroScan

Depending on your unique health situation, your FibroScan result may not be all that is needed to paint a full picture of your liver health. In those cases, your provider may use other tests, such as blood tests, imaging scans or biopsies, in addition to the FibroScan.

FibroScan FAQs

Can a FibroScan detect cancer?

FibroScan is a test that can evaluate liver stiffness, fat buildup, and scarring. Doctors can also use it to monitor liver changes over time, which may indicate if a person is at risk of liver cancer.

For example, there is an association of liver scarring with the most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

It is also possible for liver tumors to affect the results of a FibroScan, causing a higher score. However, only a liver biopsy can confirm cancer.

Can FibroScan detect cirrhosis?

FibroScan can detect cirrhosis and other forms of liver damage. It can also diagnose and track the following liver conditions:

How accurate is a FibroScan?

FibroScan cannot accurately confirm or rule out cancer, but its accuracy for assessing liver health more generally is well-documented in previous research Sources.

However, certain conditions can interfere with FibroScan results, such as:

  • ascites, or fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • scarring from previous surgeries or radiation treatment
  • obstructions inside bile ducts
  • liver inflammation or congestion may also produce a result that is too high

In cases where the result is unclear or unreliable, a doctor may recommend a liver biopsy.

How does a liver biopsy work?
Is FibroScan painful?

FibroScans are not at all painful, and no sedation is needed. If you have ever had an ultrasound before, you will find the FibroScan procedure to be similar.

How long does a Fibroscan take?

The typical exam takes only 5-10 minutes.

Take care of your liver today with a quick and easy FibroScan at R·MEDY. Our knowledgeable team of gastroenterology professionals is here to offer our patients access to advanced technology, such as the FibroScan diagnostic device, at Vancouver. Contact us, schedule a telemedicine appointment, or visit our health center in Vancouver、Burnaby、or Coquitlam to learn more about FibroScan and the other procedures we proudly offer. Let our expert team help you stay proactive about your digestive health today.