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Newly Approved Ultrasound Device Eliminates Risks and Pain of Liver Biopsy
Date:10/29/2013

DETROIT, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Henry Ford Hospital is the first in Michigan to use a pioneering ultrasound device that can help patients with liver disease avoid invasive biopsies to manage their disorders.

FibroScan® replaces repeated and sometimes painful liver biopsies for patients with chronic hepatitis C and B, fatty liver diseases and other hepatic disorders with a quick and painless procedure similar to the familiar ultrasound tests used to track pregnancy and diagnose internal diseases.

The device is based on a technology called transient elastography, which measures liver "stiffness" to assess disease and guide ongoing treatment.

"FibroScan® is designed to measure liver fibrosis using a painless, non-invasive method of assessing many of the same conditions measured with biopsy," says Stuart Gordon, M.D., Director of Hepatology at Henry Ford Hospital. "It's an outpatient procedure taking less than 15 minutes."

At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease being held in Washington, DC, a multi-center study will be presented Monday, Nov. 4, which "confirms that (Fibroscan®) very accurately assesses presence of cirrhosis in patients with chronic type B and C viral hepatitis."

Henry Ford Hospital was one of the seven U.S. institutions that conducted the study.

The patient feels only a slight vibration on the skin, the results are immediate and, because it does no harm, the procedure can be safely repeated as often as necessary.

About 150,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with chronic liver disease annually, about a fifth of them with cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver.

By one conservative estimate, more than 30,000 liver biopsies are performed in the U.S. each year, a number that led to medical discussion
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SOURCE Henry Ford Hospital
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