Conflicting ultrasound and fibroscan r... - British Liver Trust

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Conflicting ultrasound and fibroscan reports - or are they conflicting?


Hi guys, So I have a question due to receiving rather odd results from multiple sources. Today I received an ultrasound result which found 'mild coarse texture' to my liver - however I also got a Fibroscan which reported a '5' or 'no significant fibrosis'. Aren't these contradictory reports? And which is more reliable?

16 Replies

I am no medical expert but you seem to have seen plenty of them. What I personally see there are a few words which would raise NO immediate cause for concern. The ultrasound report says 'mild' course texture which would confirm the 'no significant' fibrosis and the low fibroscan score. Fibrosis is reversible once the cause of the potential damaging agent is removed, if it's alcohol then stopping drinking and improving diet should improve the liver health and reverse fibrosis and should prevent its decline to irreversible cirrhosis which you obviously DO NOT have.

My husbands last US report regarding his liver states:- "the liver has an irregular contour, with a patchy mixed echo pattern, and disturbance of internal architecture, all consistent with cirrhosis" [a consultant has told us that all his liver cells have collapsed, his liver has been described as small & shrivelled and we've been told his liver is basically burnt out] just to give you the kind of no holds barred language that is used when the liver really is damaged. My hubby has advanced cirrhosis caused by auto-immune hepatitis having been a life long tee totaller and we only learned he was poorly with cirrhosis once it was too late and he never had the chance or ability to remove the cause of his liver disease. Having been diagnosed for 2 and a bit years now he is awaiting a liver transplant.

You are really unnerving yourself unnecessarily. Take your scare as a warning, keep off the drink, live more healthily, get help with your anxieties and your liver as minimally affected as it seems will repair itself and give you many more good years service.

All the best to you, Katie :)

Faithfull in reply to AyrshireK

Katie you always give the right advice as of being in fear of your life when it's nothing u put you in I no that one but completely different life situation .As for people like me I take on board the first its stop the drink ,today we will admit you today as my blood tests was bad I never touched a drop since because I done this fear of my wrong doing s and I feel blessed in this life by the time u put in for alll

Hi there. I would agree with Katie; you are worrying yourself unnecessarily. I've never had a fibroscan as there never seemed to be any additional information it would give. My first US was back in 1996 when the report said significant scarring due to infection with HCV. A biopsy confirmed this. I didn't drink much anyway so when the infection was cleared I have managed to last til late last year with little increase of scarring but have developed liver cancer now. When first diagnosed the consultant said that there was only about half the liver doing it's job. Eat well, stop drinking and stop worrying. Get on with life and let the liver get on with it's job. It's a teriffic organ that takes all sorts of assaults with no grumbling. Support it and you'll have many years.

Good Morning,

The two scans measure different things, an Ultra Sound scan looks at the texture, size and fat within your liver and a Fibroscan looks at how ‘stiff’ your liver is. Both help to diagnosis if your liver is injured however, by themselves they cannot give a complete picture, your doctor will also look at your other test results such as liver function tests (LFT’s) and your general health.

A score of 5 on a Fibroscan is within the healthy range for those without a liver condition. Your Ultrasound results indicate only mild changes to the liver which I would agree means you should not worry. If there are any changes you can make i.e eating healthier, taking a little more exercise or drinking within the recommended daily amounts, this will help ensure your liver remains healthy. Removing the cause of liver injury at an early stage, will help you liver to heal and also help prevent any further damage.

I hope this helps,

Kind regards

Sandy Forsyth

Patient Support and Information Manager

Would this Fibroscan result be different for those -with- a liver condition? Can there be liver diseases that don't stiffen the liver?

Hi Cthulwhoo,

No, the liver becomes 'stiffer' depending on the amount of damage/scarring caused to the liver, some studies have shown that the stage of your liver condition could be estimated depending on your score and this can vary depending on the condition.

If you are worried about your result I would suggest speaking with your specialist.

Kind regards


Hmm ok. My concerns are that I do have some symptoms of liver disease - my bilirubin was high several months ago before I quit drinking, and I have spider nevi. My bloodwork seems alright now for the most part, but it's just really puzzling having some cirrhosis symptoms but no cirrhosis itself...

Perhaps your bilirubin was high when you were drinking due to the drinking and perhaps your liver was giving you a warning and if I am right in what you've said already it has now normalized with your drinking having ceased - good news.

You've already said that doctors have told you that you do not have spider angiomas, there are various different 'spider veins' some of those are alcohol related too - my hubby does have spider angiomas (but only about 2 were present at diagnosis) and they were not the deciding factor in doctors diagnosing his cirrhosis it was done by ultrasound first off along with the fact he had major cirrhotic symptoms (massive upper GI bleed, varices, jaundice, clawed fingers and much more) and doctor could feel his rigid, shrunken liver through abdo exam.

You are still worrying yourself unnecessarily in my opinion - your blood results are fine, your ultrasound is fine, your fibroscan is normal, countless medical professionals are saying you are fine.

Look after yourself from now on, eat healthily, exercise, stay off the drink and stop worrying and these symptoms you keep finding will fade. Give it a few months off the alcohol and looking after yourself, if need be get help with your obvious anxiety issues.

Stop looking for things that arn't there - sometimes we do need to trust in the professionals, they study long and hard to get where they are, ok sometimes they need a bit of urging but you can't argue with all the expensive tests, scans and data that is telling you that you do not have cirrhosis.

Don't know what else to add, good luck with everything.

Katie :)

Cthulwhoo in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks. I have a lot of symptoms (balance problems, fuzzyness etc) but perhaps that isn't actually my liver and could be a neuro thing. Back to the drawing board.

Fuzzyness and balance problems would be late stage symptoms of cirrhosis and as you haven't got any early stage symptoms I would reckon issues indeed lie elsewhere though alcohol withdrawal can cause various issues in the months following withdrawal so it might be nothing other than that.

I wish you all the best though would urge you to live healthy and live life to the full.

Katie :)

briccolone in reply to AyrshireK

I would definitely endorse that with alcohol withdrawal

i would love to know also as i had a normal fibroscan but weird liver function tests...

i hear sometimes fibroscans can be way off

Cthulwhoo in reply to medmike

For cirrhosis, the Fibroscan is 90-95% accurate - pretty dead on. I had two, and both were very close to the same in results so I am fairly trusting of this.

Also, all does is check livers for cirrhosis. They literally don't do anything else as a company, soooo I would hope it's a good tool lol

Some people's livers appear with a coarse echotexture for no reason at all and are completely normal. It is apparently not that uncommon.

Ahmed78 in reply to mr68gto

The link above you provided showing no data regarding your comment

I can understand your concern. However, the Fibroscan is a window into your liver's stiffness with an overall rating base on the readings taken from the Fibroscan...the higher the score the stiffer more fibrosis you have throughout the liver. The 'soundings' take a more internal view of the liver and is often done instead of a biopsy as it is safer without the risks associated with a biopsy. Whereas the ultrasound scan determines the surface and sizing of the liver (&position) whether there any dark spots, surface irregularities ..also it shows the function of the gall bladder, bile duct and, they usually check your spleen for enlargement. Just ask them how it all looks. These tests along with full blood tests GGT, ALP and LFT can give the liver specialist a better idea the overall health of your liver.

You probably had your ultrasound first and that prompted specialist to have a deeper look with Fibroscan...5.0 ...this is very good score especially if you are older as most of us will have lost some smoothness to our liver. But, ask your specialist doctor if you are still concerned. If your blood test all came back in normal range and you do not have any underlying health condition like hepatitis or fatty liver for example...I would not worry.

Here is a link that might clear up any confusion..


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