Liver stiffness (kPa) diagnostics now possible with accurate, non-invasive innovative measurement tool, potentially changing medical procedures for millions of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients.
SuperSonic Imagine, the pioneering medical imaging corporation that developed ShearWave Elastography, has successfully used this innovative technology to liver imaging, potentially decreasing the need for a number of biopsies. This non-invasive method is being used globally to visualize and quantitatively measure (in kilopascals) the degree of tissue stiffness in varying stages of fibrosis all the way up to cirrhosis. As liver stiffness generally increases with the advancement of liver fibrosis, measuring its value becomes a determining factor in the appropriate treatment evaluation as well as the therapy monitoring.
Available only on the Aixplorer ultrasound system, ShearWave Elastography is the only FDA approved, real-time, ultrasound-imaging tissue stiffness measurement and display device.
Traditionally, liver biopsy has been standard for evaluating liver fibrosis severity, however this invasive method presents significant disadvantages. Not only is biopsy not suitable for repeated follow-up exams due to its invasive nature, it also carries a major incidence of morbidity, high hospitalisation and treatment costs as well as inconsistent diagnostic results.
By utilising the innovative ShearWave Elastography, doctors can measure liver stiffness in a user-friendly, non-invasive examination which allows for safe follow up checks. The diagnostic information obtained is key in determining the appropriate medical treatment, measuring therapy effectiveness and providing regular and previously unavailable imaging monitoring for complications.
When required, the exceptional image quality offered by the Aixplorer has proven highly effective in assisting hepatologists and radiologists with ultrasound guided liver procedures such as needle placement for biopsy and paracentesis.
Dr. James Trotter, MD of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas uses the technology routinely in his clinic with roughly 20 weekly procedures, and explains that the ShearWave Elastography is identical to ultrasonography, making it a one-minute, highly comfortable and easy exam for the Hepatitis C patient. “We use it on a routine basis to help us make clinical decisions about how we treat chronic liver injury patients and we think that by using this technique, we can cut down the number of biopsies by about half.”
SuperSonic Imagine CEO Jacques Souquet Ph.D. states that a number of clinical studies confirmed the accuracy of ShearWave Elastography’s technique in assessing liver damage. Souquet is convinced that the technology will enable a major shift in patient management, concluding that the device’s impact, both in clinical and economic terms, cannot be underestimated.
29 October 2013