What is Liver Elastography?
Types of Liver Elastography
Symptoms of Cirrhosis and Other Liver Diseases
- Yellowing of the skin.This is known as jaundice.
- Bruising easily
- Heavy nosebleeds
- Swelling in the legs
- Weight loss
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.
- 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.
What are the Possible Complications of Liver Elastography?
- Fluid in the abdomen
- Acute hepatitis
- Right heart failure
- Severe obesity
- Small rib spaces
- Inability to lie down
Frequently Asked Questions:
The elastography takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Water intake affects liver stiffness and hemodynamics. No water intake at least one hour prior to liver ultrasound elastography and Doppler sonography is recommended.
Abdominal ultrasound with elastography is a non-invasive technique used in ultrasound to determine fibrosis or stiffness of liver tissue.
Depending on the level and scope of the intervention, it can cost between INR 2000 and INR 10000.
Liver elastography involves the use of a surface ultrasound probe that emits a low-frequency pulse, hence it is completely painless.