Elastography is an imaging process that analyzes the elasticity (stiffness) of your internal organs, most commonly your liver.
Tissue stiffness has long provided important information about disease or lack of it. Physicians have used palpation for centuries, noting that abnormal tissue is often more stiff than healthy tissue. Elastography is a way to visualize, record, and report tissue stiffness parameters.
Elastography is a great non-invasive addition to an abdominal ultrasound to better serve patients with liver damage or disease. This pain and radiation-free tool can help analyze your liver's health to diagnose conditions like hepatic fibrosis and fatty liver disease, and it enables quantitative assessment of the tissue stiffness to help with staging those with diffuse liver disease.
There are multiple different types of elastography, but at Peace Diagnostic Imaging we utilize most advanced Philips ElastQ Imaging.
Philips ElastQ, which features ultrasound shear wave point quantification, brought significant advances to elastography.
ElastQ has proven valuable in staging liver disease, reducing the need for costly and potentially painful biopsies in some patients. ElastQ Imaging advances shear wave elastography, providing a technique that is not only noninvasive and easy to use, but also offers clinicians additional confidence in the reliability of measurements, even for the technically difficult patient (TDP), such as a patient with a high BMI (body mass index).
As with many ultrasound appointments, how you prepare may differ depending on what you are having examined. For an elastography appointment, we ask that you come to your appointment fasting the morning of, meaning nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. If you need some water to drink with medications in the morning this will not impact your exam. We also ask you to avoid using lotion or other oils on your skin to ensure the readings are as precise as possible
At the start of your exam, your sonographer will apply a gel over the areas of concern. This gel helps the ultrasound provide a clear image, maximizing our ability to detect any possible abnormalities. An ultrasound transducer will be placed along the ribs and multiple pictures will be acquired. Different breathing techniques may also be utilized to further create the best diagnostic quality images.
Your sonographer will guide you through the appointment and our team will then forward their findings to your referring practitioner within 1 business day. We may forward the information on the same day if your needs are urgent.