Ultrasound Elastography Improves Diagnosis of Liver Disease

It is 10 in the morning and M. A. Mateen, MD, 55, Chief Radiologist at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) in Hyderabad, India, is already on his 50th ultrasound elastography examination of the day. His patient is a 52-year-old clerk from Jorhat, a small town in Assam in north-east India, who has travelled 2,700 kilometers to the highly regarded AIG to undergo liver elastography a

Procedure that helps assess his liver disease. Elastography is a non-invasive method that measures the stiffness of the tissue using ultrasound to help in the assessment of liver disease. It is performed with a Siemens ACUSON S2000 ultrasound system. Ten minutes is all it takes for the investigation.

Avoiding invasive biopsy and saving money at the same time Under less favorable circumstances, the patient from Jorhat would have needed to undergo an invasive biopsy, which involves cutting out a 2-millimeter thick and 6-millimeter long piece from his liver to assess its condition. This patient not only saves on the discomfort of the biopsy procedure, but also on costs. While a liver biopsy costs INR 22,000 to INR 25,000 (US $ 342 to US$ 390), an ultrasound exam with elastography costs just INR 3,000 (US$ 47).