Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Noninvasive diagnostics may offer alternative to liver biopsy for assessing liver fibrosis

Date:
June 2, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Patients who are evaluated for liver diseases such as hepatitis C (HCV) are typically recommended for liver biopsy to determine the extent of disease progression. For patients who question whether less invasive testing is available, clinicians now have alternatives options to consider. Elastography and serum markers are two such diagnostic options.

Patients who are evaluated for liver diseases such as hepatitis C (HCV) are typically recommended for liver biopsy to determine the extent of disease progression. For patients who question whether less invasive testing is available, clinicians now have alternatives options to consider. Elastography and serum markers are two such diagnostic options reviewed in an editorial published in the June issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Related Articles


Epidemiological studies report that approximately 150,000 individuals in the U.S. are diagnosed with chronic liver disease each year, and nearly 20% of these cases have cirrhosis at initial presentation. Complications from cirrhosis are determined by the extent and progression of fibrosis or scaring of the liver. Liver fibrosis, however, is not a linear process, but one that fluctuates with the influences of age, sex, race, alcohol exposure and obesity.

Liver biopsy remains the gold standard for determining activity and stage of fibrosis. However, this procedure has inherent limitations that include risk of pain or bleeding, inaccurate staging from sampling error, and variability of biopsy interpretation. With the increase in availability of sophisticated laboratory blood testing, the use of diagnostic liver biopsy is on the decline. "The drawbacks to liver biopsy have prompted researchers to investigate alternative, noninvasive markers for determining the severity of liver disease," said Dr. Jayant Talwalkar of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and editorial co-author.

Noninvasive screening with serum markers, or indicators in the blood, can identify patients at risk for liver fibrosis. Fibrotest, an indirect serum marker panel, is the most widely used and validated serum marker panel used worldwide. A number of studies have confirmed this panel to be reliable in detecting stage 4 fibrosis (cirrhosis) in patients with chronic HCV. Additional studies are underway to analyze its viability in hepatitis B, alcoholic liver disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Imaging techniques such as ultrasound-based transient elastography (TE) and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) are noninvasive procedures that measure liver stiffness. Prior studies have found TE to be up to 90% accurate in diagnosing cirrhosis, and 70%-80% accurate in detecting stage 2 to stage 4 fibrosis. Evaluations of MRE have shown up to 85% accuracy for detecting intermediate to severe fibrosis (F2-F4). Currently only MRE is approved for use in the U.S.

"Noninvasive diagnostics are more advantageous to the patient as there are no serious side effects and they may be more cost effective when compared to liver biopsy although this remains to be determined," Dr. Talwalkar concluded. "Fibrotest or elastography imaging are helpful to confirm cirrhosis or minimal to no fibrosis. Liver biopsy may still be necessary to determine stage of fibrosis in those patients where noninvasive techniques were indeterminate."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Doris Nguyen, Jayant A. Talwalkar. Diagnostic and therapeutic advances in Hepatology noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Hepatology, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/hep.24401

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Noninvasive diagnostics may offer alternative to liver biopsy for assessing liver fibrosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602121706.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, June 2). Noninvasive diagnostics may offer alternative to liver biopsy for assessing liver fibrosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602121706.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Noninvasive diagnostics may offer alternative to liver biopsy for assessing liver fibrosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602121706.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins