No. And MRI is used most commonly to look for liver cancer it can't be used for staging liver disease. Only a biopsy can properly stage liver disease. Knowing how advanced your liver disease is very important as it can determine when you should start treatment.
Maybe the doc didn't do the biopsy correctly? What part didn't was difficult or you. It is really pretty much painless. The thought is worse than what happens. Did you get something to relax you first? You should ask. Tell the nurse your nervous and uncomfortable before the proceedure. They gave me something and I felt pretty relaxed.
There are a few places in the US that have "Transient Elastography” devices. It is a non evasive test. It sends a low frequency elastic wave through the liver via a probe located close to the liver surface. The speed of this wave is directly proportional to the existing hardness of the liver due to its collagen fiber content, a condition that is called liver fibrosis. More commonly used in Europe.
"Can you elaborate why biopsy vs MRI/CT Scan is necessary for Hep C treatment? Does this change the treatment? "
As I said previously MRI/CT scans are used for DIAGNOSIS of HCC. SURVEILLANCE for HCC can be done using an ultrasound. As far as patients with hepatitis C, only cirrhotics a high enough increase in the risk of liver cancer to be monitored for HCC every 6 months.
Remember early (treatable) HCC has no symptoms! Without imaging (and sometimes the AFP level) a patient would have no idea that they have HCC. Very dangerous!
The advantages of having your liver disease staged before starting hepatitis C treatment:
* All cirrhotics should treat for at least 48 weeks vs. 24 for other hep C patients.
* Cirrhotics are more likely to have cytopenias and more servere side effects from treatment. It is good to be forewarned so the doc is prepared to intervene.
* They are less likely to achieve SVR. Patients should have a realistic idea want their odds of SRV are, I believe.
* Cirrhotics could have the treatment cause more liver damage. Treatment can cause decompensation in compensated patients or even cause liver failure in a very small percentage of patients.
Hi I understand your concern. When my doctor performed the biopsy there was an anesthesiologist at my side, they gave me something so that I did not feel a thing or I did not remember. I think I went to sleep for a few minutes.
It is possible that back in 2001 you were not given anything to help you relax though of course I really don't know. Procedures may be kinder to the patient all these years later.
Could you get someone new to conduct the biopsy?
My thoughts are with you
I don't Know what to believe some times hector,they say now the Fibroscan is the best method to detect cirhosis,rather than the invasive and sometimes trublesome procedure of a liver biopsy as there could be hemmoraging if you don't stop bleeding the then have to operate,but that is rare,ultrasounds I like the best but my Dr,said what if they take a sample from a healthy part and just miss the scarred part he said they would be none the wiser,I don't know,I guess thats why all these diagnostic proceeds are there.
I dont know when or where or how long they have been doing this kind of Biopsy I had done is called a Transjugular Biopsy,where they go into the Jugular vein in the right side of the Neck, down through the main vein of the Liver and got some pieces of my Liver.It was a pain free procedure,they give me whats call the twilight zone sedation,you really don't know whats going on and the doctor can still communicate with you as to hold your breath when they are moving the instrument around. Just thought I would add this info to the conversation for the ones that has not had their Biopsy done yet.I highly recommend this procedure...
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