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An examination using FibroScan® equipment is a non-invasive technique used to assess liver health and provides immediate results. It assesses liver fibrosis and steatosis and can be used to monitor the progression of liver disease. It utilizes a technique called ultrasound elastography to measure the stiffness or elasticity of liver tissue.
It works by using a special probe that emits low-frequency sound waves and measures the speed at which they travel through the liver. The speed of the waves is directly related to the stiffness of the liver tissue. Softer or healthier liver tissue allows the waves to propagate faster, while stiffer or fibrotic tissue slows down the waves.
The FibroScan device processes the data collected from the probe and calculates a numerical value known as the liver stiffness measurement (LSM). The LSM is a representation of the liver’s fibrosis level and is measured in kilopascals (kPa). The obtained LSM value is interpreted in the context of established cut-off values or a fibrosis score system to determine the stage of liver fibrosis or steatosis. Normal results are usually between 2 and 7kPa but it can go up to 75kPa.
The second measurement provided is a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) score. This a representation of the percentage of abnormal fatty deposits within the liver used to determine your steatosis grade. This is the first stage of liver disease. Your CAP score is measured in decibels per meter (dB/m). This score will range from 100 dB/m to 400 dB/m and can vary over time.
The British Liver Trust provides information and support on all types of liver disease.