Scans alcohol cirrhosis: Hi hope... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Scans alcohol cirrhosis

Peppy05 profile image

Hi hope everyone is doing fine. I was diagnosed with alcohol cirrhosis since December 2015. I'm compensated now, I have my 6 monthly bloodwork, I have an endoscopy,ultrasound done but not once has my liver doctor gave me a scan of my liver or a fibrosis scan since 2015. I know doctors knows best but can anyone tell my why he has not. Thanks in advance peppy05

20 Replies

You say you have blood work, endoscopy and ultrasound. If you have an ultrasound every 6 months then this is the scan that is most commonly done for patients with cirrhosis & it's the only routine monitoring scan my hubby has ever had in 8 years (& only once had an MRI and that was to check some lesions out a little bit more thoroughly).

Katie

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks AyrshireK, but I put that wrong I have blood work every 4 months but I only had 1 ultrasound since 2016 of my abdomen. That was all I had. Peppy05

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to Peppy05

Ah, that puts a totally different slant on things. I see you are in the USA from your profile so I wonder if the difference in scanning routine is an insurance, payment issue. Here in the UK it is written into the NICE guidelines for the treatment and monitoring of cirrhosis that the liver should be scanned every 6 months this is so that any cancers and other changes can be picked up quickly and at a stage where they can be treated etc.

It might be that you need to chase this up with your medics. Also you should have a blood test for AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein) which is a tumour marker and could flag up any issues with potential cancers - just because a cirrhotic liver has a slightly increased chance for this.

Katie

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks Katie I will. I do receive Medicaid it pays for every thing but it pays for scans without contrast there's a big difference with contrast. Thanks again Katie. Peppy05

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to Peppy05

You don't need contrast for an ultrasound and like I say that's the usual means of keeping an eye on liver 6 monthly.

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to AyrshireK

Not contrast for ultrasound but for a scan there's 2 kind, with contrast and without. Peppy05

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to Peppy05

Both CT and MRI scans are done with or without contrast - with is normally better to give better resolution to images, however, for routine monitoring of cirrhosis it is usually only an ultrasound that is done.

In 8 years of having cirrhosis hubby has only ever had 6 monthly ultrasound scans. He had a CT scan during liver transplant assessment in 2014 and a follow up to check on the splenic infarction he suffered then had an MRI scan in 2019 to get a better image of some lesions that showed up so ultrasound it more the one that is routinely done (at least in UK).

Katie

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to AyrshireK

Thank you so much for your reply Katie. Hope your hubby is doing well.

Peppy05

idyllic420 profile image
idyllic420 in reply to AyrshireK

Can ultrasound detect cirrhosis? And differentiate between different stages of liver disease? Thanks in advance! :)

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to idyllic420

Cirrhosis is usually described as coarse dense echo texture on ultrasound often also including description of changes to liver shape/contour - I just read your post which describes your smooth and shiny liver - no cirrhosis there with that description.

idyllic420 profile image
idyllic420 in reply to AyrshireK

Thank you. I kicked off booze 8 months back and now hoping to meet with GI in couple of months to solve for other puzzles..!

sophiaS1980 profile image
sophiaS1980 in reply to Peppy05

There is no difference being from the USA, your doctor should do an ultrasound every 6 months, this is standard care with liver disease.

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to sophiaS1980

Thanks sophiaS1980

Hi Peppy, I have compensated liver cirrhosis for 3 years, I have ultrasounds on my abdomen every 6 months and that covers my liver, spleen etc so to me this sounds correct unless any of the other members know different.

Cheers Hayley

🙂

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to bintcliffe

Thanks bintcliffe for your reply. I only had one ultrasound of my abdomen on 2016 and he never did no more as of today. Peppy05

They should do an ultrasound every 6 months to check for changes, cancer and portal vein thrombosis. They generally won't do a fibroscan if you already have a diagnosis of cirrhosis unless the ultrasound reveals changes in your liver like improvement such as reduction of nodularity etc. A fibroscan would just confirm the diagnosis of cirrhosis but not give them any more information but if it is getting worse or better it could tell them that.

bintcliffe profile image
bintcliffe in reply to toma123

Hi toma123 that is correct I had the one fibroscan at the very beginning to establish my diagnosis.

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to toma123

Thanks toma123, I will ask why he doesn't do more ultrasound. Peppy05

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Administrator

Although you are US based, you may find it useful to read our UK patient charter that details the case anyone should expect to receive if they are diagnosed with a liver condition:

britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

Peppy05 profile image
Peppy05 in reply to Trust1

Thanks Trust1

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