Transient elastography for the measurement of liver fibrosis

Using high frequency sound waves, FibroScan® measures how elastic or stiff your liver is, to assess scarring and damage

About FibroScan®

Liver fibrosis refers to a scarring of liver tissue. It is the liver's response to injury; and can, in some cases, lead to cirrhosis. FibroScan® is a quick, non-invasive measurement of the elasticity of liver tissue, without the need for a biopsy. It's carried out as an outpatient test and you can go home straight after. 

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You will be asked to lie on an examination couch and put your right arm above your head. The nurse will find the right place on your abdomen to perform the scan, place a probe on it and trigger the probe to start.

    Sound waves will emit from the probe in pulses, and pass through your skin to your liver and bounce back. This will feel like a gentle flick against your skin and shouldn't hurt. The scanner measures the time it takes for the sound wave to bounce back.

    This is repeated at least 10 times to ensure accuracy. The mean (average) reading is then calculated by the scanner ‒ this shows your liver stiffness.

    The procedure takes 10‒20 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    You'll be asked not to eat or drink anything for two hours before your FibroScan®. However, small sips of water or clear fluid are permissible but not large amounts of fluid. You should continue taking any prescribed medication.

    While you won't need to remove any clothing for the scan, we will need to expose the right side of your abdomen. Therefore we don't recommend that women wear a dress on the day of their scan. 

    Right before your scan, you'll also be able to ask the nurse any questions you may have. Provided you are happy to proceed, the FibroScan® procedure will commence.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    As soon as the FibroScan® is finished you will be able to leave.

    The result will be sent to the consultant and they will discuss it with you at your next outpatient appointment with a view to advising you appropriately on a treatment plan.

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020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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