Mercy’s Dr. Hwan Yoo Explains How Non-Invasive FibroScan is Used to Ascertain Liver Health

December 9, 2015
Dr. Hwan Yoo - Mercy Medical Center

Experts say about one in 10 Americans have some form of liver disease like hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer.

Many of those patients would have to undergo a core needle biopsy procedure, which is invasive and can be painful. Now there's another option.

FibroScan is a procedure used to scan the liver. It's non-invasive and similar to an ultrasound. It measures the degree of scarring or fibrosis on the liver.

Mercy hepatologist Dr. Hwan Yoo explained that the first step is diagnosing the specific liver disease.

"Next step, we want to know is how much damage liver sustained from that disease, and that is the point that FibroScan plays a role," Dr. Yoo said.

"The hardest part about the FiberScan is finding a good spot for the liver. It's a very sensitive machine, so once you find a good area, it will let you know," said medical technician Lilly Yu of Mercy’s Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease.

The procedure is completely painless. It only takes about five minutes.

"What we do normally, is take an average of at least 10 readings and we try to get a good picture, and it will calculate an average of a score. So what we will end up looking at is this median score," Yu said.

From that, doctors can determine whether the degree of fibrosis is level one, two or three.

According to Dr. Yoo, a needle biopsy is still the gold standard for measuring liver scarring, but FibroScan is the very best non-invasive option available.

View Dr. Hwan Yoo’s interview regarding fibrosis, liver disease and the new non-invasive study of the liver, FibroScan. 

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

News and Events