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475555 tn?1469307939

Fibroscan: Is it any good?

Hello again, fellow Medhelpers! Greetings from Buenos Aires, where we avidly await the beginning of spring. The winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere has been too long, and some people here think there won't be any summer at all this year. Global warming, melting ice caps, and all that sorta stuff. Argentines are hysterical. But it sure is unseasonably cold.

I hope I am still remembered by y'all with affection in spite of my past weird and occasionally wicked postings. I certainly haven't forgotten any of you dear people. You have been my port in the storm.

To give a quickie update, I am still without Tx, waiting for my hep MD to make up his mind what to do with me. I think these Argentine medics are kinda scared to do anything, afraid of scandal (can you see the headline: "American Tango Dancer Succumbs to Third-World Hepatitis Treatment"?).

The latest, and the real reason for this post (aside from my penchant for aggravating everyone with my dubious attempts at humor), is that they just got a Fibroscan machine at my hospital, trained a young female medic to run it, and I have been one of its first victims...er, I mean subjects.

The results are crazy and scary. It gave F2/F3. Now, just a year ago a biopsy and a FibroTC (tomography analyzed, see my images page), as well as many blood analyses and ecodopplers and whatnot, gave me as being F0/F1. How the heck can someone with almost normal hepatic enzymes (transaminases), otherwise totally normal blood tests, and scores of F0/F1 a year ago, suddenly be F2/F3? Is this possible? Is it credible? Or is their new Fibroscan machine a piece of junk, despite the cute operator?

Anybody out there with an opinion on this, my latest predicament?

All replies will be appreciated, and the one that is most helpful wins a free trip to Buenos Aires (by kayak and Moped) and three free tango lessons from yours truly (if I'm still above-ground).



90 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
Hi Mike,

For what it’s worth, I recall Hepatitis Researcher saying that Fibroscan results were very operator-sensitive; that it required a highly-trained individual to make it work correctly. I don’t know if you recall HR; many in here held him in high regard. He as access to one to this day, I believe; even though our FDA still hasn’t officially approved the process.

It seems to produce acceptable results in the E.U. however. Mike, my understanding is that it’s quite possible to advance into and even through late stage fibrosis, and even cirrhosis with normal liver enzymes; in fact, I think that around 25% of patients will have enzymes within reference range.

The question becomes which diagnostic test to trust, I suppose. While many people in here will disagree, the bulk of clinicians still call the needle biopsy the gold standard; until I am persuaded otherwise, I’m going to agree.

If you choose to undergo treatment anyway, none of this is really that important, assuming you treat successfully. Once SVR is achieved, your histology is expected to either maintain it’s current status, or in some instances, improve.

Maybe if you engaged in something less ‘Argentinean’, than Tango, they’d be more disposed to treat you :o)? Perhaps breakdancing outside the doctor’s office with the speakers turned to full volume…. LOL, good luck with your decisions—

I’m packing my bags now for a cold, austral spring…

Avatar universal
Fibroscan not that accurate for the middle stages.
it is possible that your biopsy took a sample from a good part of the liver with less damage.

Although possible to advance that fast not that common.
I personally would split the difference and lean toward being a stage 1/2.
Looks like you have a good chance to wait for the new drugs coming out in the next few years.
971268 tn?1253204399
Hi Mike,

I don't know if you're treatment naive, or even if you want to treat, but if so and you have any interest in a clinical trial, there's a new protease inhibitor, TMC435, purported to be as good or better than Telaprevir, with a trial location in Buenos Aires.


My husband is in his 10th week of this same trial.  He's hoping to be in the lucky 80% that get the trial drug and only have to treat for 24 weeks.  Anyway, just a head's up in case you're interested.  Guess I can't get the free tango lessons since i know zip about Fibroscan, but probably Bill is a better dancer anyway.  ;)
476246 tn?1418874514
What a pleasure too read you! It's been a while. Mike and I just had a good giggle reading your post. (as always, I had to call him to have a look ;-)  )

I'm not contesting for the free tango lessons here, it's getting cold and I don't want to be kayaking all the way from Copenhagen to Buenos Aires.

What I have understood is that the fibroscan is accurate in the low and high stages, but not in the middle stages. (Just as copyman mentioned)

Personally I don't think that you could have gone from 0-1 to 2-3 in such a short time.

I myself scored 5,2 (= 0-1 Metavir) after tx. I'm happy with that and since I am SVR now, I'll leave it at that.

If I was you, I would ask them to do a second scan to verify.

Anyway, good to see you around.

Avatar universal
You ask: Anybody out there with an opinion on this, my latest predicament?

First of all ask yourself how the machine is benefitting you...How would you use the info from the FIBROSCAN first of all if it were very accuate.Would you treat if you were a stage 1?...maybe at stage 2 ?...and they say you should treat before stage 3 because its well know at stage it harder to SVR,my thoughts are you have enough info now to go ahaed and fight the good fight..

good to see you posting


Avatar universal
Excellent reading on Biopsies

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