FibroScan Test Used to Evaluate and Manage Liver Disease at Mercy in Maryland

Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease - Baltimore, MD

The Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy in Baltimore is proud to be one of the first hospitals in Maryland to offer FibroScan® testing for liver disease.

FibroScan is a non-invasive test to measure liver damage and often can be used in place of an invasive liver biopsy, where doctors use needles to collect samples of the liver. Mercy’s doctors specializing in liver and hepatobiliary disease use FibroScan to evaluate the severity of liver scarring and select the best treatment options for liver disease.

More convenient and less painful for patients, a FibroScan test is typically painless, faster and less costly than a traditional liver biopsy. Fibroscan does not replace liver biopsy to make a diagnosis – it is only useful to assess the severity of fibrosis.  

What is FibroScan?

FibroScan is a non-invasive test used to measure liver stiffness. Liver stiffness occurs due to liver scarring (fibrosis). While a healthy liver is soft and elastic, a stiff liver is typically a sign that some damage has occurred.

Liver scarring may be caused by:

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How does FibroScan work?

FibroScan is performed with a probe, similar to an ultrasound. During the procedure, a probe is applied directly to the skin and is passed over the upper right area of the abdomen where the liver is located. The probe captures a series of measurements that generate a FibroScan score for doctors to review. The FibroScan score measures liver stiffness and helps doctors assess liver damage as well as formulate an appropriate treatment plan.

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When is FibroScan recommended?

FibroScan is recommended to assess severity of fibrosis (scar tissue) in patients with liver disease. After an initial FibroScan test, repeat tests may be used to further monitor liver condition and track treatment effectiveness.

NEXT: What are the benefits of FibroScan? ›
What are the benefits of FibroScan?

In many cases, FibroScan can be used in place of a traditional liver biopsy which is an invasive procedure that uses a needle to collect a sample of liver tissue.

FibroScan is beneficial because it typically:

  • Takes a short amount of time to complete      
  • Produces immediate results 
  • Does not cause pain 
  • Is non-invasive 
  • Has a lower cost than a traditional liver biopsy
  • Can be used every 6-12 months to assess treatment response 

In contrast, a traditional liver biopsy typically:

  • Requires a few hours in an outpatient center
  • Can cause pain or bleeding
  • Is invasive 
  • Provides a small sample size for doctors to evaluate
  • Has a higher cost than FibroScan
NEXT: How do I schedule an appointment for a FibroScan test at Mercy? ›
How do I schedule an appointment for a FibroScan test at Mercy?

To schedule an appointment for a FibroScan test please call our office at 410-332-9592 or Request an Appointment online. Our doctors are fully committed to providing your FibroScan score and test results to your referring physician so you can discuss the best treatment plan for your condition.