FibroScan: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Test, Results, and Preparation


To determine the health of a person’s liver, doctors recommend a FibroScan test, which is similar to an ultrasound. The doctors normally order it for the patient, including medical conditions affecting liver health, like hepatitis B and C, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

In a fibroscan test, they determine liver health based on the history of alcohol use and the history of families who have suffered from fatty liver disease. Do you know the signs and symptoms of the FibroScan test? This test was recommended at what stage? Well, I cover all these things in this article, which might be important for you to know.

When plenty of fat builds in your liver, it will start hurting your liver, and your health will not be well. The FibroScan test also determines how much damage has occurred to the steatosis liver and scarring.

In this article, I will tell you about the fibroscan test, its procedure, and how you can prepare for it. I will also tell you the details of the fibroscan results and what you can expect. So, if your doctor recommends this test, you might have to read this article to learn about it.

What is Fibroscan?

A fibroscan is a unique ultrasound machine that analyzes your liver and determines how much fibrosis and steatosis (fat buildup) there is. It will help the doctor discover what’s wrong with your liver. The doctor will order other tests like blood tests, imaging scans, or biopsies to look at your liver. After taking all the tests, the doctor will provide an explanation of the test results during your appointment.

Why would I need a FibroScan? Why would a doctor order a FibroScan?

The FibroScan liver can be used to monitor the health of the disease that is affecting your liver like:

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and large amounts of fats are stored in the liver cells, which puts you at risk of developing liver damage.
  • Alcoholic liver disease occurs when you drink a lot of alcohol, and then your liver creates inflammation, which causes cirrhosis disease, which leads to liver failure.
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a form of NAFLD that is more aggressive than the fatty liver and will cause liver damage.
  • When viral infections like the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) start affecting your liver, it will put you in a risky situation, resulting in liver cancer, liver failure, and cirrhosis.
  • When a large amount of iron is stored in your organs, including the liver, it will become toxic for the body and create life-threatening complications and liver damage.

What Does Your FibroScan Result Mean?

The fibrosis test will tell you how much scarring is in your liver, and according to the doctors, the average level of fibrosis is between 2 and 6 kilopascals (KPA). Currently, the highest level of Fibroscan result is 75 KPA. An individual with some stomach problems can get a better result than normal.

Below is the small fibroscan score chart, which I put in the category, and your doctor will look at your medical history and fibrosis test.

Fibrosis scores F0 to F1: There is no or mild liver scarring right now.

F2: Significant thickening on your liver

Fibrosis score F3 means moderate liver scarring

Fibrosis score F4 means that you have advanced liver scarring (cirrhosis)

What is a CAP Score?

CAP stands for Controlled Attenuation Parameter score, measuring fat accumulation in your liver. The doctor will use your CAP score to determine your steatosis grade. The score of CAP score is from 100 to 400 decibels per meter. I provide a table for your help to categorize the CAP store into the specific steatosis grade and the percentage of fatty change in your body.

CAP ScoreSteatosis GradePercentage of Liver with Fatty Change
238 to 260 dB/mS111% to 33%
260 to 290 dB/mS234% to 66%
Higher than 260 dB/mS367% or more

How do I prepare for my FibroScan test?

The preparation for this test is straightforward. The individual had to fast for at least 3 hours before going for a fibrosis test and take only fresh fluids. You must wear comfortable clothes like a shirt or loose dress so the nurse can easily determine your right upper abdomen.

I suggest you don’t wear tight clothes when going for the test because you have to lie on the bed before the test. They will measure your body because it is essential when it is at rest.

Does the FibroScan hurt? How long does it take to go through the steps?

If you wonder if the test is painful, don’t think like that. If you have ever had an ultrasound, you will see that the fibroscan procedure is similar to that. You will lie on your back with the right arm above your head so that the nurse can access your right rib cage and your liver can be scanned easily.

What to expect once you arrive for the Test?

  • Try to arrive at the location 15 minutes before your procedure starts.
  • Bring your ID card or insurance card with your current medical reports.
  • The test requires no sedation, so you have to drive yourself from the test.
  • The fibroscan procedure will take only 5 minutes, and your appointment will be 30 minutes.
  • They will place a fibrosis device between your ribs, and the nurse will apply a gel before placing it. When the device sends the energy pulses to your liver, you will feel a few vibrations, and then the device will get the measurements.

What to Expect after the FibroScan Test?

The results of the fibroscan test will come instantly, and the nurse will provide you with a copy of the result at the end of your visit. The original copy will sent to your doctor.

How accurate is my FibroScan result?

In a few cases, your liver has smaller scarring than what the fibroscan fibrosis results will say. This may happen if you have the following:

  1. The illness of the current liver causes liver inflammation or maybe because of drinking alcohol.
  2. The growth of the liver may be harmless or dangerous for a person.
  3. It is called liver blockage, when your liver is full of blood or fluid. It is integrated with your heart failure.
  4. The FibroScan results might also be less accurate if you have:
  5. The body mass index is higher than 30
  6. The condition is ascites when lots of fluid is stored in your belly.
  7. When your bile can’t leave your liver properly, then there will be biliary obstructions.

Conditions That Can Affect Your Fibrosis Results

Only some conditions can cause liver stiffness results that are too high and make it incorrect. This may happen if you have the following:

Liver inflammation:

The long-term drinking of alcohol and your current liver illness are the causes of your swelling in liver inflammation.

Liver congestion:

It means that you have a lot of blood or other fluids. Heart failure is typically the cause of it.

Can I estimate my Fibrosis Score using my FibroScan fibrosis result?

At the end of this paragraph, I mention a table below, in which I show different liver illnesses, the range of fibrosis scores, and the associated scores. You must remember that fibrosis score values’ results are just an imagination or guess.

Maybe your doctor will give you a fibrosis score, which is not according to this table. Also, you can only use this table if you have one liver disease. Before using the table:

  • In the first column, you can find your liver disease score.
  • Read across the row and find out the fibrosis result range.
  • Lastly, look at the top of the column to see your score.
ConditionsF0 to F1F1F2F3F4
Hepatitis B2 to 7 KPA8 TO 9 KPA8 to 11 KPA18 KPA or higher
Hepatitis C2 to 7 KPA8 TO 9 KPA9 to 14 KPA        14 KPA or higher
Coinfection2 to 7 KPA7 TO 9 KPA11 to 14 KPA14 KPA or higher
Cholestatic Disease2 to 7 KPA7 TO 9 KPA9 to 17 KPA17 KPA or higher
NAFLD2 to 7 KPA7.5 to 10 KPA10 to 14 KPA14 KPA or higher
Alcohol related disease2 to 7 KPA7 to 11 KPA11 to 19 KPA19 KPA or higher

Can a FibroScan detect liver cancer?

Much research has been done on this problem, and I will share a conclusion with you. The fibroscan might be a helpful tool to determine liver cancer. It is a great tool in the diagnosis process in this modern era. It will help you identify which people need a biopsy if they have liver cancer.

Is a FibroScan the same as an ultrasound?

You did an ultrasound when you did the FibroScan of the liver. If you think you must pick the best fibroscan vs ultrasound, remember that fibroscan is similar to ultrasound. The reason is that fibroscan uses transient elastography, which is the based modality of ultrasound and is also an increased form of ultrasound.

How to reduce fibroscan score?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Take healthy diet
  • Do physical exercise daily or get involved in physical activities
  • Maintain a healthy weight

What is the Life Expectancy of Fatty Liver Disease?

Well, if you suffer from NAFLD, a type of fatty liver disease, it will take 2.8 years. This result is according to a study that some doctors do. Individuals suffering from NALFD have a 71% chance of heart failure. So, this is the life expectancy with fatty liver disease.

Can Fatty Liver Cause Kidney Problems?

The liver and kidney are different organs in our body, with different signs and symptoms. If you have a problem with one organ, it will ultimately affect the other. Their signs and symptoms are separate, but fatty liver disease might cause kidney problems.


A fibroscan is a test that is done to determine the health of the liver of a person. I highlight the main reasons why doctors order this test and how to prepare yourself. You don’t have to eat anything three hours before the test and also wear a comfortable, loose dress.

The procedure will take only five minutes; in the next 10 to 15 minutes, you will get a report of your result. It is similar to ultrasound; you don’t have to worry too much about this test. If you want to decrease the score of fibroscan, then you have to eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, and avoid drinking alcohol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would a doctor order a FibroScan?

The doctor orders you a fibroscan test because they want to assess the health of your liver. It will measure the liver stiffness and fatty changes and provide insight into liver disease.

What is a FibroScan, and how long does it take?

A fibroscan is a test that is done to determine the health of the liver of a person. It takes only five minutes.

What is a bad FibroScan result?

A bad result will indicate significant liver scarring or fibrosis, which various liver diseases can cause.

How is a FibroScan performed?

They will place a fibrosis device between your ribs, and the nurse will apply a gel before placing it. When the device sends the energy pulses to your liver, you will feel a few vibrations, and then the device will get the measurements.

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