Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Chronic Liver Disease



Fibroscan assessment for the diagnosis and treatment of Patients with Chronic Liver Disease

Over half of the US population suffers from Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) These include patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH), Hepatitis C (HCV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD).

Many CLD patients are currently undiagnosed or are missing critical information regarding the stage of their progressive liver fibrosis/cirrhosis.

In many cases it is not until previously undetected progressive liver fibrosis advances to late-stage fibrosis/cirrhosis that CLD is finally diagnosed in these patients. Patients with advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis are then typically referred for intervention-type procedures.

Progressive liver fibrosis/cirrhosis is a silent killer. Timely and accurate liver assessments in the early stages of CLD are key to developing and implementing proper preventive care protocols for patients with all types of CLD.

What benefits do regular fibroscans provide for the treatment of Patients with Chronic Liver Disease (CLD)?

Patients with CLD often are very curious about the current stage of their liver fibrosis stage. Beyond the obvious fact that Fibroscan is a safe and painless alternative to liver biopsy, many patients instinctively know the critical importance of the information that Fibroscans provide.

NAFLD/NASH Patients

One-out-of-five patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) suffer from NASH (Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis). NASH may cause progressive liver fibrosis/cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis may result in End-Stage Liver Disease.

Currently a large percentage of NASH patients remain un-diagnosed among the general Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFLD) population. Fibroscans may distinguish at-risk NASH patients with active liver fibrosis from NAFLD patients with no active liver fibrosis.

Fibroscans accurately determine the Liver Fibrosis Stage of NAFLD/NASH patients. (Ultrasound identifies the presence or absence of steatosis, but cannot determine liver fibrosis staging.) There are four stages of liver fibrosis; liver cirrhosis is categorized as stage four.

Fibroscans should be performed on all NAFLD patients to identify possible progressive liver fibrosis from NASH. Fibroscans should be performed on NASH patients every six months to track the rate of progression of liver fibrosis.

Hepatitis C Patients

Fibroscans can be used to qualify HCV patients for anti-HCV drugs if the patients demonstrate fibrosis stage F3-F4.

After clearance of the HCV virus, fibroscans can monitor the state of a patient's post-HCV liver fibrosis.

HCV patients who clear the virus may or may not resolve their liver fibrosis, even after Sustained Viral Response (SVR) is achieved. This is because liver fibrosis may be triggered by a number of metabolic conditions unassociated with HCV infection

In post-HCV patients the ability to monitor liver fibrosis stages in six months increments may helpful in identifying potential triggers in patients experiencing further fibrosis generation even after clearing the HCV virus. Potential fibrogenic triggers include fatty liver (NAFLD), diabetes, prescription drug use, alcohol use, bile duct disease, etc.

Hepatitis B Patients

HBV patients will benefit from periodic fibroscans to determine whether hepatic fibrogenic activity is being stimulated.

ALD Patients

The first thing a recovering alcoholic wonders when he attains sobriety is, "I wonder how bad I hurt my liver?" Fibroscans can provide the answer to that question.

Fibroscans performed on six-month intervals throughout long-term rehabilitative care may demonstrate to the patient factual evidence of improvement of liver status and serve not only as a bench mark for his progress, but also as a carrot for responsible behavior and continued success.




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The LiverLab, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, is currently the only independant Liver FibroScan lab facility in the Metro Phoenix region. In addition to Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ, the LiverLab services patients from the entire Phoenix Metro area to include Tempe, AZ; Mesa, AZ; Gilbert and Chandler, AZ and Glendale, Peoria, Surprise and Sun City, Arizona as well as other cities.



 
 

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