“FibroScan served as a valuable tool in the VA’s successful efforts of nearly 100 percent hepatitis C eradication within the VA. As part of an overall assessment, FibroScan can help detect liver disease before it progresses and becomes symptomatic, reducing costs and improving outcomes.”
— Dustin Lee, owner and president, Fidelis Sustainability Distribution, LLC, USMC scout sniper veteran and principal
A potentially progressive liver disease that occurs in people with high blood sugar, obesity or high cholesterol, NAFLD is recognized as the most common chronic liver disease in the United States that can lead to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, liver transplantation and death.
Monitoring Liver Health in Patients Cured of HCV
With a goal of targeting some of the major issues that negatively affect veterans today, the VA aggressively made available a drug that helps cure hepatitis C. After reaching the goal of 100,000 veterans cured of HCV in as few as two months, the VA now utilizes FibroScan, a quick, painless, point-of-care tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of adult patients as part of an overall evaluation of liver health.
“Given the unreliability of ultrasonography and limitations of biopsies, non-invasive, vibration controlled transient elastography, such as FibroScan, offers an easy and reliable way to rule out advanced fibrosis. This point-of-care tool is widely available, quick and simple to learn.”
— Dr. Wing-Kin Syn, M.D., Ph.D., FEBGH FACP FRCP (Edin) FRCP (Lond), Professor of Medicine, Associate Program Director of Research, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of South Carolina, and Attending Physician, Medical University of South Carolina
The adoption of this technology is part of the VA’s strategy to improve access to non-invasive liver assessment and early detection of asymptomatic NAFLD—avoiding painful and time-consuming liver biopsies, reducing costs and improving outcomes.
A recent study suggests that fatty liver is present in 47.5 percent of patients who have cured their HCV infection, with some experiencing ongoing clinically significant fibrosis, despite normalizing liver enzymes. This reinforces the need to monitor liver health in patients with metabolic syndrome who are cured of HCV infection.
Another study found that the military experienced a 12-fold increase in the number of active military diagnosed with NAFLD and is recognized by the VA as a growing disease that requires immediate action.
In recognition of Veterans Day, we salute the nation’s men and women for their service and sacrifice and remain committed to playing our part in helping them maintain health and quality of life.