FibroScan® in Houston, TX

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FibroScan is an ultrasound technology routinely employed by the GI doctors at Gastroenterology Consultants to examine the liver without the need for an incision or biopsy. Also known as transient elastography, the scan uses a particular ultrasound technology to assess the occurrence of fibrosis and steatosis inside the liver. Fibrosis occurs when the liver exchanges healthy tissue for cicatrix (scar) tissue to try to recover itself from an underlying condition. Hepatic steatosis is also called fatty liver disease and arises when fat builds up inside the liver cells.

Using FibroScan, your Houston, TX gastrointestinal physicians can evaluate the condition and working condition of your liver, and provide a diagnosis and medical plan without intrusively probing the body to review the liver. If you have a liver problem, reach out to Gastroenterology Consultants to learn if FibroScan might benefit you.

FibroScan testing might be suggested for patients who have been diagnosed with early to late-stage liver disease or other disorders. These can include:

  • Dysmetabolic syndrome
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • PBC, or primary biliary cholangitis
  • Cirrhosis of the liver (extreme scarring)
  • Certain types of hepatitis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Alcoholic FLD
  • Different classes of chronic liver disease

How is FibroScan conducted?

The FibroScan test performed by our Houston, TX GI specialists is an easy procedure, typically taking about 10 – 15 minutes to carry out. A detector will be situated on your skin over your liver. This particular detector transmits acoustic sound waves through your liver to gauge the rate at which sound crosses through the organ. The FibroScan scanner then creates a series of results that your Gastroenterology Consultants GI physician will implement to quantify the level of hardness (fibrosis) present part of your liver.

FibroScan findings are presented with scores (or grades) indicating the level of steatosis (fatty liver disease) and fibrosis. The following charts include generalized details regarding what the results of the examination might look like. You should talk over your findings in specifics with your Gastroenterology Consultants GI physician after your FibroScan test.

Steatosis grade of severity: The fatty change findings depicts the level of steatosis in the liver and is represented by a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) score, which is measured in decibels per meter (dB/m). The range is from 100 to 400 dB/m, and various ranges cause a distinct steatosis grade.

CAP Score (dB/m)

Steatosis Grade

Amount of Liver With Fatty Change

238 – 260

S1

11% – 33%

260 – 290

S2

34% – 66%

290+

S3

67%+

Fibrosis score: The fibrosis end result is an assessment of the hardening of the liver and represents the layer of scarring that the liver has experienced. Your GI specialists will utilize your FibroScan result combined with your medical history to ascertain your fibrosis score. Various liver diseases and conditions can impact the fibrosis score.

  • F0 to F1: void of scarring/minimal scarring
  • F2: medium scarring
  • F3: extreme scarring
  • F4: extremely progressive scarring (cirrhosis)

FibroScan makes use of ultrasound technology, making it a very low-risk (and usually comfortable) examination. It also has the benefit of allowing for a more comprehensive analysis of the liver rather than the comparatively small portion that would be examined in a biopsy. Moreover, no sedation medication is mandatory for the treatment, it is relatively affordable, quickly accomplished, and the results are usually rendered quickly.

Expert care for liver conditions

The liver is the second-largest organ in the body, and it carries out a range of tasks that are essential to your health and well-being. Fibrosis and steatosis might affect your liver and your body in various ways and can lead to severe diseases without apt care. To learn more about FibroScan in Houston, TX or to meet with a hepatologist near you, please call your local Gastroenterology Consultants facility today.

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Is there any preparation required for a FibroScan exam?

You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything except small sips of water in the three hours leading up to your FibroScan procedure. You can likely take your medications, however. Our doctors recommend you dress in looser clothing to make it easier for our providers to reach the right side of your ribcage. A member of our team will go over these instructions with you before your visit so you know what to expect before, during, and after the FibroScan process.

What liver diseases or conditions can FibroScan help monitor?

A FibroScan exam can help our team monitor the progression of various liver concerns, including:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
  • NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
  • Hemochromatosis
Is there a difference between a FibroScan exam and an ultrasound?

The FibroScan test is a type of ultrasound that uses the same technology as a standard ultrasound (transient elastography). While they are alike in that respect, FibroScan was developed to assess liver scarring and stiffness and, therefore, is more precise at detecting liver issues than a traditional ultrasound.

Is the FibroScan process better than a liver biopsy?

FibroScan is a common nonsurgical alternative to taking a biopsy of the liver. However, a liver biopsy could be ideal in certain situations. These may include cases where a patient has a defibrillator or pacemaker, is pregnant, or has fluid in the abdomen. Results might be less accurate in those who are obese. Should you have liver concerns, the team at Gastroenterology Consultants can help determine if FibroScan or a standard liver biopsy is right for you.

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