The FibroScan Technology

A patient's introduction to FibroScan | Ohio State Medical Center

What is a Fibroscan?

Fibroscan or transient elastography is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses ultrasound to diagnose liver scarring (fibrosis). Fibroscan easily measures the degree of fibrotic tissue that appears harder than normal liver tissue.

Indications for a Fibroscan

Fibroscan is commonly indicated for liver disorders including:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Wilson’s disease (a genetic disorder that affects the liver)
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Cirrhosis

Preparation before a Fibroscan

There is no special preparation needed. You are advised to avoid eating or drinking 2-3 hours before the scan.

Procedure of Fibroscan

The procedure requires no sedation and involves the following steps:

  • You lie on your back (supine position).
  • Your right abdomen area is exposed.
  • A water-based gel is applied on the skin over the liver area followed by placement of an ultrasound-like probe.
  • You may feel slight vibrations which are normal.

After the Procedure

The reading obtained is used to calculate your fibrosis score. Your doctor may discuss your result on the same day or during your follow-up visit.


  • Fibrosis score F0 to F1: No or mild liver scarring
  • Fibrosis score F2: Moderate liver scarring
  • Fibrosis score F3: Severe liver scarring
  • Fibrosis score F4: Advanced liver scarring (cirrhosis)

Over-estimated Result

The results of Fibroscan can be over-estimated if you have liver disorders including:

  • Liver inflammation
  • Liver cancer
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Liver congestion (usually caused by heart failure)

Contraindications of Fibroscan

Fibroscan is not recommended if you are obese, have abdominal ascites or at an advanced age.

Advantages of Fibroscan

The advantages of Fibroscan include:

  • Accurate diagnosis
  • No need for liver biopsy
  • No complications
  • Quick and Painless

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