Background: Liver cirrhosis is the 11th commonest cause of global mortality with two million deaths annually. The common causes include chronic viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and fatty liver disease, all of which are potentially reversible if detected early. Liver biopsy, though the gold standard for diagnosis, is invasive with associated interobserver differences. Thus, there is a need for an alternative. FibroScan is a novel, noninvasive, and user-friendly bedside method for assessing liver fibrosis and steatosis. It is powered by vibration-controlled transient elastography that examines 3 cm3 cylinder of the liver, which is more than 100 times the size of a standard biopsy specimen. In this study, we examine a 1-year experience of FibroScan practice in a tertiary health center in North-Western Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive study where records of all FibroScans carried out from July 2021 to June 2022 were analyzed. Patients’ demographic data, indications, elastography, and continuous controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) values were all recorded and analyzed. Similarly, a record of spleen stiffness study was also analyzed accordingly. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: A total of 99 examinations were conducted over the 1-year period, 94 (94.9%) liver examination and five (5.1%) spleen examinations. The mean age ± standard deviation was 40.14 ± 11.7 years with male having 58.6%. The commonest indications were hepatitis B virus (HBV) (62.6%) followed by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (21.2%), cirrhosis, and portal hypertension. Fibrosis was detected in 95.6% with F1 having 77.7% and F4 in 7.5%. Splenic elastography was in a range of 14.1–90 kpa. Steatosis was detectable in 47.5% of the patients with severe steatosis accounting for 13.1%.
Conclusions: FibroScan is an easy bed side procedure that can revolutionize hepatology practice when employed appropriately. It can not only assess liver fibrosis and steatosis, but also accurately assess the presence of portal hypertension in patients with cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer.
Keywords: FibroScan, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cirrhosis, steatosis