Fibroscan, Liver elastography and CAP scan for fatty liver disease or NASH
Liver elastography is a non-invasive and painless way to measure liver stiffness. Liver stiffness correlates with the extent of fibrosis (scarring) in the liver tissue that occurs as a result of inflammation and damage from a range of causes such as viral hepatitis, alcohol, fatty liver or iron deposition. Fibroscan can accurately determine the presence of cirrhosis or exlude cirrhosis, but is less accurate at differentiating mild and moderate degrees of scarring.
Controlled Attenuated Parameter (CAP scan)
Fibroscan is the most accurate tool to assess whether you have cirrhosis. The only other reliable method is a liver biopsy. MRI elastography is not widely available and expensive but it also a valuable test to assess cirrhosis in morbidly obese patients. Fibroscan can be difficult to perform in these patients.
What happens during a liver elastography assessment?
You will be asked to lie on your back with your right arm raised behind your head. A special probe with gel is then placed over your right side over the ribs. This probe generates harmless elastic waves and measurements are recorded. The total duration is 5 – 10 minutes.
What preparation do I need?
The patient only needs fasting for 3 hours before the procedure. There are no complications from this procedure. Fibroscan is available at our Clinic in Taree.
Which diseases does it test?
Fibroscan with CAP has been validated for assessment of severity and long term monitoring in most liver diseases including:
- Alcohol related liver disease
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH
- Hepatitis B and C
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Cholestatic liver disease (PBC and PSC)
- Drug related liver disease
- If you have known liver disease (see above)
- If your liver function tests (LFTs) are abnormal
- If you sometimes drink a bit too much alcohol
- If you are on medications that might affect the liver
- If you have a fatty liver
How much does it cost?
Currently there is no MBS rebate for a fibroscan, so there are very few machines around and waiting time through the public hospital can be up to 3 months or longer. Our brand new Fibroscan 530 touch with CAP gives the most reliable and precise and this will be dome by Dr Prematilake himself.
For a standalone Fibroscan the cost is $200, pensioners $150 no referral required.
If you have a fibroscan as a part of your specialist consultation (GP referral required) the cost will be $100, in addition to the cost of the consultation. All reports will be emailed/posted to you and your doctor within 24hrs of the examination and may even be available straight away.