Echosens is proud to partner with the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense.
In 2015, the VA set out to eradicate HCV in their patient population. Today, the VA has accomplished its goal of healing 100,000 veterans of HCV and have relied on FibroScan® to be a crucial tool in this endeavor. But curing HCV doesn’t cure underlying liver health-related complications. The worldwide epidemic of liver disease is still rapidly growing, and the VA is no exception, even with proven treatments for HCV.
In addition to the 300 million people worldwide who are unaware that they are living with viral hepatitis, potentially 1 billion are living with another affliction of the liver known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. NAFLD is the result of too much fat in the liver and is directly correlated to the growing twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Nearly 1.5 million veterans are being treated by the VA for type 2 diabetes, and these veterans are highly susceptible to developing NAFLD and potentially progressing to a more nefarious development of NAFLD called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Additionally, 3.22 million VA patients do not have access to a VA Medical Center and receive routine care through CBOCs and Veterans Choice.
As expected, NAFLD identified in patients prior to treatment persisted after curing their HCV infection. Particularly concerning was that among those with NAFLD before treatment, 6.25% still had significant liver scarring after their HCV infection was cured, while those without liver fat before being treated did not have the level of scarring. While more research is needed, this new study reinforces the need to continue to monitor liver health in those patients who are cured of HCV infection.
NAFLD is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and other metabolic risk factors, and is directly related to too much fat in the liver cells.
If left untreated, NAFLD can progress to NASH which may lead to cirrhosis of the liver with complications of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver failure and liver-related death or the requirement of liver transplantation. In addition to liver-related morbidity and mortality, subjects with NASH are at an increased risk of cardiac morbidity and mortality.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has released new guidelines recommending all patients with Type 2 diabetes be screened for NAFLD.
The great advantage of FibroScan® is that they allow veterans to avoid the invasive and sometimes painful biopsies often used to detect liver disease. The FibroScan® technology has been a valuable tool in this fight, and has truly helped many of my veteran brothers and sisters at the VA.
FSD is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) whose team comprises a vast array of work experience in the med-tech industry. Bringing together their collective expertise, they are able to comprehensively identify, vet out, and support only the best technologies. Their goal is to leverage their unique experience and bring these technologies to US government locations worldwide.
FibroScan® is a non-invasive, painless and quick procedure, designed to provide consistent measurements of both VCTETM and CAPTM and has allowed the VA to efficiently and cost effectively identify patients with HCV. FibroScan® will be monumental in helping the department identify veterans at risk for NAFLD.
FibroScan® is available for immediate requisition under the terms of IDIQ Contract VA119-17- D-0033