Echosens, a high-technology company offering the FibroScan family of products, points to the critical importance of new guidelines issued jointly by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), which include a detailed discussion and recommendations to assist prescribers on the efficacy and safety for the most commonly prescribed medications for psoriasis. This includes methotrexate, an immunosuppressive agent used in the therapy of psoriasis that has been associated with frequent but mild elevations in serum liver enzymes and, more importantly, development of chronic liver injury, progressive fibrosis, cirrhosis and portal hypertension. These guidelines serve as a pathway for the use of non-invasive liver assessment tools, such as VCTE, (FibroScan) a proprietary elastography technology developed by Echosens to identify and monitor liver health in people undergoing long term treatment with methotrexate.
Dr. Elliot B. Tapper, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine at University of Michigan and guideline contributor, says, “Because psoriasis is a risk factor for fibrotic nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), we look to these guidelines to help improve the detection of liver disease by emphasizing pre-treatment screening. The challenge is that liver disease is often asymptomatic and as a contraindication for prescribing methotrexate, cost effective and non-invasive approaches are needed to identify the presence of underlying liver disease. The approach outlined in these new guidelines includes serologic tests and liver stiffness assessment by VCTE, allowing clinicians to identify and monitor patients at risk for liver injury from long term exposure to methotrexate.”
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease involving multiple organ systems and affecting approximately 2% of the world’s population. The medications discussed in the guideline are still widely used, either as monotherapy or in combination with biologic medications. These therapies can benefit widespread psoriasis, have a comparatively low cost (in the case of older medications), have increased availability and ease of administration.
Jon Gingrich, CEO, Echosens North America, says, “The AAD/NPF guidelines add to the growing evidence that direct assessments of liver health with FibroScan, a rapid, reliable and non-invasive tool, can serve as an essential part of overall health management. We are gratified by the growing recognition that liver health assessment with FibroScan can play an important role in the effective and safe management of many chronic conditions, as evidenced by these guidelines for patients with psoriasis undergoing long-term methotrexate use.”
Echosens, the developer of FibroScan®, is an innovative high-technology company offering a full range of products and services supporting physicians in their assessment and management of patients with chronic liver diseases. FibroScan is supported by over 2,500 peer-reviewed publications and examinations are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans.
Brittany Tedesco CPR Communications
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