Fibroscan is a tool that measures the stiffness of your liver and helps estimates the amount of scarring in your liver. Fibroscan is non-invasive, quick and painless replacing the need for liver biopsy for the same purpose.
The information it provides is different from ultrasound scan and gives you and your doctor a far more complete assessment of your liver health. Liver ultrasound is utilized more to look for mass or anatomical changes, whereas Fibroscan assesses whether you have developed liver fibrosis or scarring from liver inflammation.
The result from fibroscan helps your doctor to decide if you need to start treatment for your liver disease such as hepatitis B, C or fatty liver disease. A normal liver should have a low median liver stiffness measurement (LSM). The higher your LSM, the more likely you have severe liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.
Most major Hospital and health centers in Singapore has both the M probe and the XL probe to produce accurate assessment for patients with different body mass indices.
Are There Any Special Precautions?
It will be can be carried out during an outpatient clinic appointment or during your inpatient hospital admission. Fibroscan is not recommended if have an implantable device, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator or have ascites (Fluid within the abdomen). However, Fibroscan is safe in pregnancy because it uses ultrasound(soundwave) mechanism. Please speak to your doctor or our staff if you have concerns.
What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For The Scan?
You need to fast at least two hours before your fibroscan. Sips of water are permitted. Studies shows that eating changes the blood circulation to the liver thus affect the fibroscan accuracy. Please continue taking any prescribed medication as you would normally. You will not need to remove your clothing for the scan, but the technician may expose the right side of your abdomen (tummy). Therefore, we encourage women not to wear a dress on the day of the test.
What Happens During The Scan?
You will be asked to lie on an examination couch and place your right arm above your head. A probe will be placed on your abdominal wall and a vibration wave will be emitted from the probe in pulses. At least 10 readings will be taken to ensure we get an accurate result. The median liver stiffness measurement reading is then calculated by Fibroscan. The scan should take between 5 to 10 minutes to perform and you can return home or to work
When Will I Get The Result?
The results are immediate but your referring doctor will need to discuss the results with you at your next outpatient appointment with them. Remember Fibroscan is only one part of your liver assessment and the results need to be considered in the context of your clinical situation.
For more information about fibroscan, you may visit Echosense official website
About Dr Chong Chern Hao :
Dr Chong Chern Hao is a gastroenterologist currently practising in Mount Elizabeth Hospital Orchard Singapore. He has great experience managing patient with complex liver disease. This is particularly in the field of viral hepatitis B, hepatitis C, fatty liver, autoimmune hepatitis.
He also manages a lot of patients living with symptoms of liver cirrhosis such as ascites and jaundice, using up to date practice to improve the quality of life for these patients. Those who eligible for liver transplantation often will be referred for urgent transplant to maximize their long term outcome.