What is Fibroscan?

FibroScan is a specialized ultrasound machine for the liver. It measures fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty change) in your liver. Fatty change is when fat builds up in your liver cells. FibroScan will help your healthcare provider know more about your liver disease.

Why is Fibroscan performed?

Fibroscan is used in patients who are diagnosed with or are being treated for hepatitis C (HCV), chronic hepatitis due to hepatitis B (HBV), a combination of hepatitis C and HIV, alcoholic liver disease, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) non-alcoholic, chronic cholestatic diseases, liver cirrhosis, and monitoring for liver transplant patients.  

How Should You Prepare for a Fibroscan?

Patients will be asked to wear loose clothing and should be able to lie flat on an exam table while the test is being performed.  There will be an instruction not to consume any liquids or solids for a minimum of 3 hours before the test to obtain reliable test results. The scan will take around10 to 15 minutes to complete.

How does it work?

The fibroscan machine uses a probe, similar to an ultrasound probe, which is kept on the right lower chest wall of the patient. When the button is pressed, the ultrasound probe sends a shear wave into the liver and detects the stiffness of the liver. This data is automatically processed by the on-board computer and the liver stiffness is displayed on the screen. Around 10 such readings are recorded. Easy to perform, and prompt, the measurement is expressed with a clear figure in kPa. The patient lies on his/her back, right arm raised behind the head. The measurement is made on the right lobe of the liver by intercostal route using a dedicated probe with a vibrating system. The result is delivered at the end of the 10 acquisitions.

What to expect during a Fibroscan?

As we know, the liver is located in the right upper abdomen under the rib cage. Patients will be asked to lie flat on an examination table. A technician places the FibroScan probe between the ribs on the right side of the lower chest wall. A series of painless pulses are then applied to the liver. The results will be recorded on the equipment and an overall liver stiffness score will be generated. This score is then interpreted by an expert physician to predict the fibrosis or cirrhosis.


How much time does the fibroscan procedure take?

This procedure lasts less than 10 minutes.

Does the patient need to rest after the fibroscan?

No, the patient can immediately go back to home or work.