Thanks to new equipment and advanced technology, the Epatocentro is able to make increasingly accurate diagnoses of hepatic diseases.
In addition to traditional ultrasound techniques and routine analyses, the centre carries out highly specialised procedures as the result of collaboration with institutes of excellence such as the Clinica Luganese Moncucco, for radiology, and the SYNLAB laboratory, for specific analyses.
Fibroscan (hepatic elastography) is an innovative methodical diagnostic tool to quantify liver fibrosis, i.e. the phenomenon of cicatrisation which leads to various chronic hepatic diseases and which may lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
The equipment consists of an ultrasound probe mounted on a vibrating system, similar at first sight to a common echograph. The ultrasound probe makes it possible to measure the consistency of the liver by means of a vibrating wave generated inside it, making it possible to measure the liver’s elasticity: the more ‘rigid’ the liver, the more the fibrosis is at an advanced stage. In a large percentage of cases the fibroscan makes it possible to avoid a liver biopsy, an out-patient yet invasive procedure, which nevertheless remains the examination of choice when it is desirable to examine the aetiology of a liver disease in addition to the fibrosis.
Since a fibroscan is painless and non-invasive, it is particularly useful for monitoring hepatic diseases over time and responses to relevant treatments.
The procedure, which lasts 5-10 minutes, is carried out after fasting during a normal out-patient visit.