Desert Imaging
Liver Elastography


Various chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis B, C, and fatty liver disease can lead to tissue damage and subsequent scar tissue formation. As the scar tissue accumulates, the liver loses some of its elasticity and becomes stiffer.

Liver elastography involves the use of a surface ultrasound probe that delivers a low frequency pulse or shear wave to a small volume of liver tissue under the rib cage. The transmission of the sound wave is completely painless.

stress test

How Is a Liver Elastography Performed?

The liver is located in the right upper abdomen under the rib cage. Patients are asked to lie flat on an examination table. A technician places the FibroScan probe between the ribs on the right side of the lower chest wall. A series of 10 painless pulses are then applied to the liver. The results are recorded on the equipment and an overall liver stiffness score is generated. This score is then interpreted by a qualified physician to predict the likelihood of advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis.

Patients are asked to wear loose clothing and should not consume any liquids or solids for a minimum of 3 hours before the test to increase the likelihood of obtaining reliable test results. The scan will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete, but patients should plan on being available for 30 minutes to allow time for preparation.

Why Do I Need a Liver Elastography?

Liver elastography procedures help your doctor determine the severity of hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. The FibroScan in particular can also help determine if a HCV patient does or does not have advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis, which can assist with treatment decisions regarding the need for oral antiviral therapy, liver cancer surveillance, etc. Some doctors also obtain serial liver elastography measurements once a year to see if the liver disease is improving or worsening over time.