The use of Fibroscan to determine if you have liver disease

FibroScan,® also called transient elastography, measures the stiffness of your liver by emitting a small pulse of energy. The more damaged or stiff the liver, the more rapidly the energy waves will pass through it. FibroScan® calculates the speed of this energy and gives your healthcare provider an immediate measure. Not only can exam results be used to monitor and assess liver damage, they can be used to anticipate complications as well.

What is a FibroScan® exam like?

You will lay on your back, with your right arm raised behind your head. Your healthcare provider will apply a water-based gel to your skin and then place the probe on the right side of your ribcage. You may feel a slight vibration on your skin, but it will be momentary and painless.

FibroScan® is ideal for patients who have steatosis and fibrosis in certain liver conditions, including:

Fatty liver/ Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

Hepatitis B and C

FibroScan® should not be used if you are pregnant or have an implantable electronic device.


Jennifer Heipel has approximately 12 years of experience working as a hepatology nurse/clinical research coordinator for several gastroenterologists, hepatologists, infectious diseases and addiction specialists. She is trained in the treatment of Hepatitis B and C therapies as well as general hepatology and pre/post liver transplant follow up. Jennifer serves as Charlton Health’s full time Hepatology Nurse and manages the Hepatology Program. She has worked and continues to work with Dr. Puglia at McMaster University and other area Gastroenterologists to develop a comprehensive, in-house Hepatology program and Hepatitis C program here at Charlton Health.

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