Fibroscanning (elastography, elastometry) is a modern innovative study, most often used in liver fibrosis and avoiding a more traumatic biopsy procedure. It is carried out without direct invasive intervention, while the indications have maximum accuracy and diagnostic efficiency for making a diagnosis. The safety of fibroscanning makes it possible to use the method not only as a clarifying diagnosis, but also to monitor the effectiveness of treatment in dynamics, as well as to observe pathological changes during the course of the disease.
Unlike the minimally invasive but surgical method of biopsy, the principle of fibroscanning is based on ultrasound scanning of the differences in the reflection of wave vibrations from tissues of various densities, which is transmitted to a computer monitor and processed as a result of an examination by a computer program.
The advantages of fiber scanning are:
- non-invasive method;
- accuracy (deviation during re-examination is no more than 3.3%);
- the speed and simplicity of the method;
- the possibility of application in almost all patients;
- no additional costs.
What conditions and diseases require examination
The main disease in which fibroscanning is performed is liver fibrosis of various origins. Fibroscanning of the liver was developed methodically by professor-hepatologist Thierry Poinar. Currently, his invention is the world standard for diagnostics in hepatology. However, in other diseases with similar pathophysiological changes, this method is also applicable and effective.
Indications and contraindications
It is used for such diseases:
- hepatitis of any etiology, including chronic;
- cirrhosis and fatty hepatosis of the liver;
- toxic damage with symptoms of cytolysis or cholestasis;
- elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood for a long time.
However, for all its versatility, painlessness and accuracy, the method also has its contraindications:
- age up to 18 years;
- the patient has a pacemaker;
Highly qualified specialists highly appreciated the possibilities of fiber scanning, but true professionalism lies in a balanced attitude to any methods. Therefore, the disadvantages of elastometry are also taken into account:
- it is impossible to assess necrotic changes in tissues;
- weak sensitivity in the early stages of fibrosis;
- distortion of the result in overweight patients, acute inflammatory process in the liver.
Preparing for diagnostics
Preparation for the Fibroscanning procedure involves not eating a few hours before the examination, that is, you need to undergo Fibroscanning on an empty stomach. No other special preparation is required. The process itself is most similar to an ultrasound. It is carried out lying down, without pain, the result is ready immediately upon completion of the procedure.
How is the procedure?
The patient assumes a horizontal position. In the region of the sixth-eighth intercostal space, a sensor is installed, with the help of which at least seven measurements are made. The computer program of the elastomer calculates the amount of liver elasticity based on the obtained data. The conclusion on the results of the study contains information about the structure of the liver, its morphological and functional indicators. A conclusion is made about the ratio of the volume of fibrous and normal tissues.
Effectiveness and breadth of application of this survey
The efficiency of elastography reaches 97%, which makes this diagnostic technique a good alternative to other studies. This type of diagnosis significantly reduces not only the discomfort of the subject and the risk of bleeding (compared to a biopsy), but also minimizes the likelihood of false results due to erroneous sampling of the biopsy. The cost of this procedure is lower than that of a biopsy and the time to results is minimal. That is why this modern and effective method quickly began to be widely and successfully used by hepatologists in Israel, Turkey, the EU countries and the United States.