Calling for greater awareness of the 290 million people who live with viral hepatitis but are unaware of it, and in support of World Hepatitis Day (WHD), July 28, Echosens, a high-technology company offering the FibroScan family of products, urges increased vigilance around liver health. Point-of-care examinations, monitoring and ongoing assessment of liver fat and stiffness as provided by FibroScan, a rapid, non-invasive point of care examination, can identify individuals who are asymptomatic and undiagnosed for liver damage. To learn more about liver diseases from some of the nation’s leading authorities, listen to this podcast from NASHNET, a global network of thought leaders dedicated to innovating NASH care delivery.
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the build-up of fat in the liver not caused by alcohol, is currently the most common cause of chronic liver disease throughout the world, followed by chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C,” says Jon Gingrich, CEO, Echosens North America. “NAFLD can lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an asymptomatic, progressive and burgeoning liver disease that can lead to increased liver-related mortality and morbidity. Cirrhosis from NAFLD is 10x higher than that of hepatitis C, for which there are quality metrics around screening baby boomers.”
One study on how NAFLD impacts patients treated and cured for hepatitis C infection found that NAFLD identified in patients prior to treatment persisted after curing their HCV infection. Among those with NAFLD before treatment, 6.25% still had significant liver scarring after their HCV infection was cured.
Gingrich adds, “With the high prevalence of NAFLD among the baby-boomer population, FibroScan can be an important assessment and monitoring tool for those living with viral hepatitis. This critical tool also helps to identify those cured of the virus, by providing a quantitative assessment of liver fat and stiffness at the point of care before NAFLD becomes symptomatic. This World Hepatitis Day, we call on people from around the world to take action and raise awareness to find the ‘missing millions.’”
Echosens, the developer of FibroScan®, is an innovative high-technology company offering a full range of products and services supporting physicians in their assessment and management of patients with chronic liver diseases. FibroScan is supported by over 2,500 peer-reviewed publications and examinations are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans. For more information, please visit http://www.echosens.us and follow us on Twitter (@echosensNA).