Fibroscan: How long should you wait... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Mamatembo profile image
10 Replies

How long should you wait after quitting drinking alcohol to get an accurate result?

I've drank for over a decade. Quit 3 months ago. I've been sick for those 3 months, nausea, dizzy, weak, and worried about the health of my liver.

My blood results are all great and I had an Egd (no varices, although they weren't specifically looking for them). I still feel my issues may be liver related. I was able to get a fibroscan scheduled for 2 months from now.

Would that be enough time to show relatively accurate results?

10 Replies
CocoChannel profile image

Sounds more like something to put your mind at rest? Nothing wrong with that. I did the same and went for a private fibroscan (all ok, money well spent). I doubt I would’ve got a test on the NHS as my symptoms were minor.

If you have a fibroscan booked for two month’s time, can you not hold out for that? You’re doing all the right things by not drinking, blood results OK, etc.

Mamatembo profile image
Mamatembo in reply to CocoChannel

My symptoms have become quite debilitating. I've taken 2 weeks off work.

I still think liver but my Dr said that's been ruled out by blood work and an ultrasound ( but the ultrasound literally looked at my liver for 1 minute).

I found a different Dr to order the fibroscan.

I'd love to do the fibroscan now but the Dr said it would not be as accurate and they are all booked up for the next two months anyway.

I was wondering when it can be considered accurate. I forgot to ask the Dr.

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Mamatembo

Hi mamatembo. Sorry you are feeling so rough. Your symptoms may be caused by alcohol withdrawral. Some people do suffer these symptoms confirming why doctors and councellors suggest tapering off first in favour of quitting completely. Having said that you have done well to abstain. I would suggest you speak to your Doc about your symptoms in case they are unrelated and l agree with your Doc regarding a fibroscan.

Hope you feel better soon.

Mamatembo profile image
Mamatembo in reply to Laura009

Thanks Laura. I did quit "cold turkey". Prolonged withdrawal is better than long term liver damage. I hope you are right. Thanks for the support.

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Mamatembo

You're welcome. Look after yourself and keep us posted. You're doing so well.

Laura x

Go ahead and get the FibroScan in 2 months. Your blood test results being normal means that your liver isn't inflamed so the result should be accurate. As long as the score is less than around 12 (meaning that your liver isn't cirrhotic) then get another test 12 months later. If the second result is lower it means your liver healed over the 12 months. Good luck. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised by your score.

To cover all possibilities if your score is over 12 then you should get a biopsy in 12 months rather than another FibroScan because FibroScans aren't reliable when a liver is badly damaged. There was a case of a heavy drinker getting a FibroScan score of 72 and after 3 years of abstinence his score dropped to 7 (indicating that his liver was healthy) but when a biopsy was done his liver was found to be cirrhotic.

A biopsy remains the gold standard for measuring liver health (particularly when the liver is badly damaged).

Mamatembo profile image
Mamatembo in reply to

Thanks for the info, Edward. Here's to hoping it's less than 12 and I won't have to stress about further testing.

Amethyst91 profile image
Amethyst91 in reply to Mamatembo

Hello, I experience some same symptoms and have a fibroscan booked for Thursday. I’m incredibly nervous as I’m almost positive my score will be higher than 12. Can I ask if you got your results and how you are doing since?

Congratulations on making some great lifestyle choices. We would suggest to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and make sure they are being investigated. Your doctor will advise you when a fibroscan is appropriate.

Take care and keep us posted.

Roy1955 profile image

Google P.A.W.S., post alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

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