New machine makes liver disease diagnosis easier

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Testing for liver damage usually involves undergoing an invasive biopsy.

But new technology can check for liver damage using a non-invasive Fibroscan machine.

With just a little wet, a little cold, and a small amount of pressure, patients feel more comfortable with the new Fibroscan machine being used for liver disease diagnosis.

"You don't have to use a needle. Someone doesn't have to go into the hospital, so it's a much more simple, quick, efficient way of assessing someone's liver or damage to their liver," says Dr. Tanya Schribeman, an infectious disease specialist.

The Fibroscan machine combines ultrasound with sound waves to test for liver damage.

“It looks at stiffness, which is another way to tell how damaged someone's liver is and it can also be used to see how fat someone's liver is, so it looks for fatty liver disease or what we call steatosis," says Dr. Schribeman.

Most often the Fibroscan machine is used to check for hepatitis C and fatty liver disease and is the most accurate way to test other than a biopsy.

"This gives a whole picture of the entire liver, so it's a bigger picture of the liver than a biopsy, which is just select pieces," says Dr. Schribeman.

Dr. Joseph Parulo says with the machine in the office; it's easy for doctors to begin treatments right away.

"It allows us to really select the appropriate drugs and the appropriate length of therapy with using invasive measures like we’re used to," says Dr. Parulo.

Although the Fibroscan machine works well for routine exams, the gold standard for patients with more advanced liver diseases is still a biopsy.

© 2017 KING-TV


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