French ultrasound developer Echosens said that the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published diagnostic guidance recommending the use of its FibroScan️ ultrasound technology for assessing liver fibrosis and cirrhosis outside secondary and specialist care.
FibroScan is a diagnostic ultrasound system designed to diagnose cirrhosis and in assessing liver fibrosis and hepatic steatosis in their earliest stages. It is a noninvasive aid for the clinical management, diagnosis, and monitoring of adult and pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected liver disease, and it can be used in risk prediction for liver disease progression and decompensation, according to Echosens.
Dated 7 June, the guidance states that use of FibroScan to assess liver fibrosis and cirrhosis outside secondary and specialist care has the potential to detect early-stage liver disease earlier, to provide tests at locations that are closer to people who need them, to improve access and attendance at appointments, and to potentially reduce health inequities for people from underserved groups and in rural locations.
The NICE guidance requirements state that FibroScan testing may only be used outside secondary and specialist care if the following are true:
- Each device is used in accordance with national guidelines, for a minimum of 500 scans per year, with focus on improved access to testing for underserved groups.
- Healthcare professionals administering the test receive training on FibroScan use and Echosens provides supporting materials relating to testing protocols.
- The reporting of FibroScan results is established within each community where a device will be used.