British Liver Trust
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Fibroscans in US

I have been reading these posts with great interest.

My primary concern now : there is a family history , for my husband, of cirrhosis caused by auto-immune disorders. Its a bit complicated because his female relatives develop one form of the disorder and males develop another type..if they get it at all.

It affects women the worst.

His mother, never a drinker , died of cirrhosis caused by her variation of the disorder, scleroderma. It did major damage to her kidneys and other organs first.

My husband , niw nas an auto- immune conditiin which is called PMR and it is not scleroderma and is not fatal. His doctors have not suggested he quit drinking, especially as he is cnsidered a light drinker ( at most, 5 drinks a month, and never more than 2 beers in a few hours, perhaps at a party) . I have never seen him drunk.

His liver has never been scanned in any way and he has not been disgnosed with cirrhosis.

He is on steroids and often in pain in his shoulders and back ( typical symptoms).

So I’m wondering if anyone here knows:

1. Are fibroscans available in the US ? So far, we've been met with confused faces when we ask.

2. Do steroids damage the liver? I do research as much as possible by myself but I've found boards like this one can provide info I might miss and people are supportive.

Thanks for any info.

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My understanding is that steroids if used long term can damage the liver. For example a corticosteroid like prednisone which is used as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive can lead to fatty liver if taken long term.

Given that your husband is on a steroid for his auto-immune condition he should at least get periodic blood tests done to measure liver enzymes. If his liver enzymes are abnormal then an ultrasound might be worth doing. Given how little he drinks and if he hasn't been taking the steroid for a long time he's unlikely to have the sort of liver damage that a FibroScan would pick up. The hepatologist I saw when I had a problem with my liver routinely sends his patients for an ultrasound and a FibroScan to check the condition of the liver. He suggested that I get another ultrasound and FibroScan done in a year to confirm the result of the first one.

I'm sure the US has FibroScans however GPs that don't keep up with the latest advances may not know about them. Here in Australia where I live any GP can send you to an imaging centre for an ultrasound and FibroScan free of charge thanks to our Medicare system. My GP would happily send me for scans if I requested it because I was worried about the health of my liver. Other GPs might not be so accommodating. A blood test to check liver enzymes is usually the first thing to be done to check liver function and then if it shows any problems depending on the situation of the patient further tests such as an ultrasound and FibroScan for peace of mind may be done.

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Yes we have fibroscans here in the US but they may be hard to find. I had to call many imagining places to find one when I got the order from my dr. Some places didnt even know what I was talking about.

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Thanks, everyone, for the he information thus far.

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Fibroscan is available in the US. Here's a link to locations:

echosens.us/find-a-facility

Fibrotest, also known as Fibrosure is also available:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibro...

Hope this helps.

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Thank you so much! There’s a nearby location.

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