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Liver Elastography

Liver Elastography is an ultrasound technique used in the detection and staging of liver diseases. The exam captures the movement of the liver and can calculate the liver’s stiffness or elasticity. Diseased livers are stiffer and move more than healthy livers.

With treatment, the progression of liver disease can be slowed and may even be reversed. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medication, and cholesterol and diabetes management.

What You Need To Know

Most patients with chronic liver disease can be assessed, but the test is not recommended or interpretable in patients with:

  • Fluid in the abdomen (i.e., ascites, variceal bleeding or hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Right heart failure
  • Severe obesity
  • Small rib spaces
  • Inability to lie flat

What To Expect

  • We’ll call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions; medications you are taking, potential risks and past imaging exams. If instructed, please bring previous studies to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography or MRI.
  • Be sure to notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.
  • Please wear loose clothing to your exam.
  • Avoid consuming any liquids or solids for a minimum of three hours before the test to increase the likelihood of obtaining reliable test results.
  • During the exam, you will lie flat on a cushioned table.
  • Gel will be applied to your skin. The gel acts as a conductor.
  • A technician will place a probe between the ribs on the right side of the lower chest wall. A series of painless pulses will be applied to the liver. The results will be recorded and an overall liver stiffness score will be generated.
  • A radiologist will interpret the score to determine the likelihood of advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis.
  • Once your exam is complete, you do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
  • After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
  • You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.

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