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Information for patients

Everything you need to know about liver health
and your liver examination with FibroScan®


Why is liver health important?

Situated on the right side, in your upper right-hand part of the tummy, 
the liver is the largest solid organ in your body and one of the hardest working. 

Your liver has 3 main functions
It cleans your blood, it produces an important digestive liquid called bile
and it stores energy in the form of a sugar called glycogen. 

There are 3 main causes of chronic liver disease
Metabolic dysfunction associated liver disease (MASLD) and Metabolic associated Steatohepatitis (MASH),
Viral hepatitis (HCV and HBV) and Alcohol.  

Progression of liver damage

Chronic liver disease is silent and underdiagnosed.

Damage to the liver caused by chronic liver diseases can often be reversed by early diagnosis and intervention.


1 in 3 people
over 40 have a fatty liver. TOFI (thin outside fat inside) people can have a fatty liver as well.1
Fatty liver is now the biggest cause of chronic liver disease worldwide.2

What is FibroScan® ?

FibroScan® is the gold standard non-invasive solution 
for comprehensive management of liver health.

It is called non-invasive as nothing enters your body. 

FibroScan® sends a pulse of energy to your liver,
which will give your doctor important information about your liver’s health.

The examination process


Why do I need a liver examination with FibroScan®? 
Liver health is critically important regardless of your medical needs. As such, the medical staff wants to perform a quick examination to ensure that you do not have liver damage. 

How do I prepare?
Wear comfortable clothes that allow access to the right side of your rib cage. You should be fasting for at least 3 hours before your examination. During this time you can take clear fluids only.


What happens during the examination? 
The examination is carried out by a trained operator (doctor, nurse, technician):
> you will lie on your back with your right arm above your head, 
> you will cross your right leg over your left to help open your rib spaces, 
> gel will be applied and the probe will be placed between your rib spaces. 

Does it hurt? 
No. FibroScan® is painless. You may feel a slight vibration from the probe as the measurements are taken. 

How long does it take? 
A FibroScan® examination typically takes 5-10 minutes to perform. 


When will I have the results? 
The operator will give you the results immediately following the examination. 

In addition, the medical staff will discuss any clinical actions based on your overall health, either in person or in a written report. 

Mr Powell is about to have a liver examination with FibroScan®. Watch the video to discover how to be prepared and how it happens. 
This video is hosted on Youtube, to view it please accept Cookies.


Patient testimonial


The experience of having my liver examined using FibroScan® was completely painless and I found it be extremely useful.

The results of the scan, and the better understanding I now have of the health of my liver, has helped motivate me towards making changes in my lifestyle needed in achieving a healthier liver.

Simon | Patient in the United Kingdom

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Cardiometabolic diseases and implications on liver diseases​

Fatty liver is strongly associated with cardiometabolic diseases such as:
prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension,
insulin resistance, blood lipid disorders, but also sleep apnea,
Polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism.​3,4

Diabetes affects more than 500 million people around the world.5
Almost half of them do not know they have it.
Ignoring this, will put them at an increased risk of complications such as liver disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Metabolic dysfunction associated liver disease (MASLD).This is the most common chronic liver disease in the world.If not diagnosed early, it can lead to irreversible damage such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. ​

See more patients stories

chevron Access more patients stories on British Liver Trust

1 - Yvonne Huber et al. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Advanced Liver Fibrosis in a Population-Based Study in Germany, Hepatology Communications, 2022;0:1-10.
2 - Riazi, Kiarash et al. “The prevalence and incidence of NASLD worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The lancet. Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 7,9 (2022): 851-861. doi:10.1016/S2468-1253(22)00165-0
3 - European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A patient guideline. JHEP reports 2021.
4 - Mantovani A. et al. Association Between Primary Hypothyroidism and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Thyroid: Official Journal of the American Thyroid Association 2018, 28 (10): 1270-1284.
5 - International Diabetes Federation website - figures from 2021 - diabetesatlas.org
(76%) - Younossi ZM et al. Hepatology. 2016 Younossi ZM, et al. Global epidemiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease - Meta-analytic assessment of prevalence, incidence, and outcomes. Hepatology. 2016;64(1):73-84.9.
(18%) - Kwok R, et al. Gut. 2016. Kwok R, et al. Screening diabetic patients for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with controlled attenuation parameter and liver stiffness measurements: a prospective cohort study. Gut. 2016;65(8):1359-1368.

Recommendations for patients

If you have questions about your FibroScan® results, please speak with your medical care provider.

Discover the new Patient Guide from EASL – European Association for the Study of the Liver – for all patients with or at risk of developing metabolic steatohepatitis (NAFLD).

The purpose of this guide is to support you and help you better understand and manage your disease.

>>Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A Patient Guideline