What is Liver Elastography?

Liver elastography, also known as elastography, is a type of imaging test that looks for fibrosis in the liver. Elastography uses low-frequency vibrations during an ultrasound or MRI scan to measure the stiffness (or elasticity) of the body's internal organs. It is particularly useful in detecting the presence and severity of the liver disease. Fibrosis is a condition that reduces blood flow to and within the liver. This causes the buildup of scar tissue. If left untreated, fibrosis can lead to serious liver problems. These include cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or even reverse the effects of fibrosis.

Types of Liver Elastography

Ultrasound elastography, also known as Fibroscan, is a commonly used ultrasound technique. The test uses sound waves to measure the stiffness of liver tissue. Stiffness is a sign of fibrosis.

MRE (magnetic resonance elastography) is a test that combines ultrasound technology with nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI). MRI is a procedure that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of internal organs and structures in the body.

Elastography testing may be used in place of a liver biopsy, a more invasive test that involves removing a piece of liver tissue for testing.

Other names: liver elastography, transient elastography, Fibroscan, MR elastography

Symptoms of Cirrhosis and Other Liver Diseases

The symptoms of cirrhosis and other liver diseases are similar and may include:

Liver Fibrosis can lead to serious liver problems! But early diagnosis & treatment can prevent fatal consequences. Consult ourGastroenterologist TODAY!

Purpose of Liver Elastography

  • Liver elastography procedures help the doctor to determine the severity of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.
  • The FibroScan in particular can also help determine whether or not an HCV patient has advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis is a term used to describe excessive scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis is most often caused by alcohol abuse or hepatitis.
  • Treatment helps in decisions about the need for oral antiviral therapy, liver cancer surveillance, etc.
  • Some doctors also do serial liver elastography measurements once a year to see if liver disease is getting better or worse over time.
  • FibroScan test results are always used in conjunction with other clinical data, laboratory test results, and liver imaging in the management of individual patients.

Liver Elastography Procedure

  • The person will lie on an exam table with the right abdominal area exposed.
  • An X-ray technician will spread the gel on the skin over the area.
  • He or she will place a wand-like device, called a transducer, on the area of ​​skin that covers the liver.
  • The probe will emit a series of sound waves. The waves will travel to the liver and recover. The waves are so sharp no one can hear them.
  • One may feel a gentle movement, but it shouldn't hurt.
  • Sound waves are recorded, measured, and displayed on a monitor.
  • The measurement shows the level of stiffness in the liver.
  • The procedure only takes about five minutes.

MRE (magnetic resonance elastography) is done with the same type of machine and many of the same steps as a traditional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test. During an MRE procedure:

One will lie on an exam table.

  • An X-ray technician will place a small pad on the abdomen. The pad will emit vibrations that will pass through the liver.
  • The table will slide into an MRI scanner, which is a tunnel-shaped machine that contains the magnet. Earplugs or headphones may be provided before the test to help block out the noise from the scanner, which is very loud.
  • Once inside the scanner, the pad will activate and send vibration measurements from the liver. The measurements will be recorded on a computer and converted into a visual map showing how stiff the liver is.
  • The test lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
Liver Elastography

What are the Possible Complications of Liver Elastography?

Most patients with chronic liver disease can be tested, but the test is not recommended or can be interpreted in patients with:

  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Right heart failure
  • Severe obesity
  • Small rib spaces
  • Inability to lie down

Make an appointment just in few minutes - Call Us Now

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does elastography take?

The elastography takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Is it safe to drink water before liver elastography?

Water intake affects liver stiffness and hemodynamics. No water intake at least one hour prior to liver ultrasound elastography and Doppler sonography is recommended.

3. What is abdominal ultrasound with elastography?

Abdominal ultrasound with elastography is a non-invasive technique used in ultrasound to determine fibrosis or stiffness of liver tissue.

4. How much does liver elastography cost?

Depending on the level and scope of the intervention, it can cost between INR 2000 and INR 10000.

5. Is liver elastography painful?

Liver elastography involves the use of a surface ultrasound probe that emits a low-frequency pulse, hence it is completely painless.