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When is FibroScan needed?Jan 17, 2024

Why Doctor May Order a FibroScan

Transient elastography (FibroScan) is a non-surgical procedure carried out by physicians to assess the condition of the liver and diagnose problems that might affect liver function. This advanced diagnostic assessment uses ultrasound scans to evaluate the fat buildup in the liver (fatty liver condition). The FibroScan test also helps the specialists at R•MEDY Vancouver assess the degree of stiffness in the tissue in the liver. A high degree of stiffness can indicate the existence of fibrotic scarring, inflammation of the liver, or additional health concerns. Suppose fatty liver disease or fibrotic scarring is a possibility. In that case, the gastrointestinal (GI) doctors at our R•MEDY Vancouver practice may conduct a FibroScan exam to diagnose and determine the level of the condition.

Fatty liver vs. normal liver - FibroScan

FibroScans can also be used to routinely monitor the progression of liver disease and adjust treatments if necessary. If you have been diagnosed with a liver condition, your doctor may use FibroScans to check for signs of improvement or deterioration.

How do I perform a fiber scanning exam?

Transient elastography is performed at R•MEDY and may be suggested as a replacement for a liver biopsy. It is commonly carried out along with other types of imaging tests or blood tests to evaluate for a liver condition. Throughout the test, individuals lie flat on a medical table. The ultrasound technologist then passes the FibroScan ultrasound handpiece on the upper right quadrant of the abdominal area, just underneath the ribs. Several pulses of energy are applied straight into the area, gauging the velocity at which sound waves pass through the liver. FibroScan tests are generally painless and usually require approximately 10 – 15 minutes to perform.

How Do I Read My Fibroscan Results?

When you get your test results back, your doctor will often explain it to you, but here’s a quick recap. Your results will be separated into two results: “liver stiffness score” and “controlled attenuation parameter”, commonly referred to as CAP.

About Your CAP score

Your CAP score reflects the amount of fat in the liver and is used to determine the extent of steatosis. A score of 5% or lower is considered healthy, while a score of over 66% is severe. A mild fatty liver is over 5% but less than 33%, while a moderate fatty liver is over 34% but less than 66%. An elevated CAP result demonstrates a more advanced degree of steatosis and a more serious stage of fatty liver disease.

The following table shows ranges of CAP scores and the matching steatosis grades. It shows how much of your liver is affected by fat buildup. Normal livers can have up to 5% of fatty changes in them. A score below 238 dB/m means the amount of fatty change in your liver is not higher than normal.

CAP ScoreSteatosis gradePortion of your liver affected by fatty change
238 to 260 dB/mS1Less than ⅓ (11% to 33%)
260 to 290 dB/mS2Between ⅓ and ⅔ (34% to 66%)
290 to 400 dB/mS3More than ⅔ (67%)

About Your Liver Stiffness Result

Your liver stiffness result is measured in kilopascals (kPa). Normal results are usually between 2 and 7 kPa. Your result may be higher than the normal range if you have liver disease. The highest possible result is 75 kPa.

R•MEDY Vancouver will use your liver stiffness result and medical history to find out your fibrosis score. Your results can range from normal to advanced.

Normal: This means your liver has no scarring or mild scarring.

Moderate and severe: This is liver scarring that can be reversed (undone) by treating your liver disease. Good nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes can also slow down or reverse the buildup of scarring in your liver. You may not have any symptoms of moderate liver scarring.

Advanced: Cirrhosis (seh-ROH-sis) is a late form of advanced liver scarring. This happens over time in chronic (long-term) liver disease.

It’s important to keep in mind that a FibroScan is just one tool used to assess liver health. In some cases, additional testing may be needed to confirm the results of a FibroScan.

How Do I Reduce My Fibroscan Score?

If your FibroScan score is high, it’s important to take steps to protect your liver. Some lifestyle changes that can help reduce liver damage include:

  • Cutting back on alcohol consumption
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

If you have been diagnosed with a liver condition, your doctor will likely recommend additional treatment options. These may include medications, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery.

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.