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Non-invasive measurement of liver fibrosis: application of the FibroScan in hepatology.

The liver biopsy is still regarded as the gold standard for the assessment of liver disease. However, there is a growing demand for non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis, which is the most important prognostic factor in chronic liver disease, in particular in viral hepatitis. Transient elastography is a novel, non-invasive and rapid bedside method for assessing liver fibrosis by measuring liver stiffness. Some recent extensive studies, mainly from France, have demonstrated that measurement with the FibroScan is a good alternative for the liver biopsy. The amount of fibrosis can be quantified very easily and reliably. In this review, we describe the technique and discuss the available studies in order to establish applicability and to provide points for discussion.

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