Fibroscan XL useful for severity assessment in NAFLD patients undergoing bariatric surgery

17 Jul 2021

The Fibroscan with XL probe can be used to assess nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery, a recent study has found. The device can be used safely for pre- and postoperative assessments.

The study included 190 patients (mean age 42±11 years, 82 percent women). Using the XL probe, Fibroscan achieved success in 167 of 190 enrolled patients, reaching a success rate of 87.9 percent at baseline. At follow-up ≥6 months after surgery, success rate was 100 percent.

Unsuccessful Fibroscan measurements correlated with increased body mass index (46.2 vs 39.3 kg/m2; p<0.01) and body weight (129 vs 109 kg; p<0.01), but not with alterations in platelet, NAFLD score, fibrosis-4 score, and liver function tests. This suggests that despite unsuccessful attempts, Fibroscan XL did not miss patients with significant fibrosis.

Seventy patients had Fibroscan measurements at baseline and at follow-up, performed an average of 13 months after the procedure. Fibroscan detected significant improvements in steatosis and fibrosis. Ninety percent of patients saw a reduction in the controlled attenuation parameter, while 64 percent achieved complete resolution of steatosis. Only 5.7 percent had worsened steatosis grade by follow-up.

In terms of liver fibrosis, liver stiffness measurement was reduced postsurgery in 67 percent of patients.

“This study of 190 patients undergoing bariatric surgery highlights the high rates of underlying NAFLD and the utility of Fibroscan in stratifying patient risk for significant liver disease,” the researchers said.

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