Removing barriers to care, providing specialist community health
services and increasing health professionals’ knowledge of viral
hepatitis have been key benefits of the community hepatitis programme in
“A real struggle for Northland DHB is the
geographical disparity of our population,” said Dr Rachael Harry,
visiting Hepatologist at Whangarei Hospital. “Anything that we can do
that allows us to take services closer to where patients are, and where
patients’ needs are, and any support we can get with that is a
beneficial to all.”
The community hepatitis programme was
implemented throughout Northland region by The Hepatitis Foundation of
New Zealand in partnership with Northland DHB. Community clinics were
set up within General Practices from far North to Kaiwaka, where the
Foundation’s community hepatitis nurse educated patients about viral
hepatitis and provided FibroScan® (a type of ultrasound of the liver)
Be sure to check out the latest article from our Medical Writers’ Circle: Use of FibroScan® in clinical practice, by Maurizio Bonacini, MD.
FibroScan® is a painless, rapid test (about 15 minutes) which can be used to classify patients in terms of the severity of their liver fibrosis, and according to Dr. Kurt J. Isselbacher, former Editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine: “FibroScan® has the potential to revolutionize the care of patients with chronic liver disease by improving the management of their disease and lowering the cost of their care.”
FibroScan is similiar to an ultrasound and replaces need for invasive biopsy
A Calgary outreach organization is trying to help Calgarians
suffering from liver diseases using a painless diagnostic technology.
“Often patients have heard about older tests we used to do like liver
biopsies to stage liver disease severity and so by introducing them to
this non-invasive test, we’re hoping that we can help these patients
access care and engage them in care for their underlying liver disease,”
said Dr. Rob Myers, a hepatologist at the University of Calgary.
Myers says many patients have heard nightmare stories about liver
biopsies and so are less likely to get tested for liver damage, even
though hepatitis, alcohol-related liver problems and fatty liver disease
are a “crisis in the making.”
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) endorses
assessment of transient hepatic elastography. Devices using vibration
controlled transient elastography (VCTE) have
recently been approved by the FDA to be used by clinicians providing
care for patients with liver disease to evaluate liver fibrosis at the
point of care.
of transient elastography in assessing severity of liver disease is
very well supported by a robust literature, extending back for more than
a decade now. It is very clear that the use of this technique is:
· Technically easy to perform and reproducible in more than 95% of patients
· Safe and relatively inexpensive (particularly when compared
with liver biopsy)
· Correlates very well with the degree of hepatic fibrosis
· Has utility in patients with other hepatitis C and other liver diseases
addition, high levels of liver stiffness assessed by VCTE devices
correlate well with subsequent clinical complications and even the risk
of developing HCC.
use of such devices has the potential to improve care of patients with
disease by providing accurate and non-invasive assessment of liver
fibrosis, which when present is associated with a poorer prognosis. The
use of the test will save the patients from needing liver biopsies,
which are expensive and can have morbidity and mortality. Furthermore,
sampling variability with biopsies impairs their accuracy, a problem not
present with VCTE.
new technique has the potential to revolutionize the care of patients
with chronic liver disease by improving the accurate management of their
disease and lowering the cost of their care.
Please feel free to use the document found at this link in providing care for your patients.
DETROIT – A non-invasive alternative to liver biopsy, now the
standard method of diagnosing cirrhosis in hepatitis patients, proved
very reliable in a national multi-center study including Henry Ford
The results of the study are good news for chronic hepatitis B and C
sufferers who now often undergo repeated and potentially painful liver
biopsies as part of their disease management.
The non-invasive transient elastometry method of
estimating liver damage may be a better way to predict which people co-infected
with HIV and hepatitis C will progress to decompensated liver cirrhosis and
death, researchers reported last week at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV
Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Kuala Lumpur.
Over years or
decades hepatitis C can lead to advanced liver disease including cirrhosis and
liver cancer. People with HIV who are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV)
experience more rapid liver disease progression, on average, than people with
Echosens(TM) is pleased to announce that FibroScan(R) device received
510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on
April 5(th) , 2013 and is now ready to market its pioneering technology
in the United States.
FibroScan(R) is used in the clinical management of patients with liver
disease such as chronic viral hepatitis C and B and fatty liver
diseases. Based on a technology called transient elastography,
FibroScan(R) assesses liver shear wave speed (expressed in meter per
second) and equivalent stiffness (expressed in kilopascal) at 50 Hz in a
rapid, simple, non-invasive and totally painless way.