FibroScan® by Echosens Recognized in AASLD Practice Guidance on Managing Portal Hypertension and Varices in Cirrhosis

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The new guidance underscores the utility of noninvasive tests to stage and manage advanced liver disease

PARIS and WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) has released new guidance advocating noninvasive tests like FibroScan® for the management of advanced liver disease, including assessment of clinically significant portal hypertension and varices in cirrhosis. This evidence-based approach could impact health outcomes for the majority of asymptomatic patients with this condition.

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“Managing portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients is a daily challenge for healthcare professionals. The latest guidance underscores the promise of noninvasive methods for monitoring advanced liver disease patients.”

The guidance, titled “AASLD Practice Guidance on Risk Stratification and Management of Portal Hypertension and Varices in Cirrhosis,” provides a detailed outline for using liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by transient elastography (TE) to stage advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD), identify clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH), and to determine the stage-specific role of upper endoscopy to identify varices needing treatment (VNT). 

“Managing portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients is a daily challenge for healthcare professionals,” said Jon Gingrich, CEO of Echosens North America. “Given the high mortality rates associated with these conditions, there’s an urgent need for effective treatments and early diagnosis. The latest guidance underscores the promise of noninvasive methods for monitoring advanced liver disease patients.”

The recently issued guidance represents a shift in diagnosing and managing advanced liver disease, moving away from invasive procedures such as liver biopsies and Hepatic Venous Pressure Gradient (HVPG) measurements to more noninvasive tests. This alternative approach introduces the concepts of “advanced chronic liver disease” (ACLD) and “compensated advanced chronic liver disease” (cACLD), both of which rely on liver stiffness measurements to noninvasively assess patients that are close to cirrhosis (ACLD) or those with ACLD without prior decompensation (cACLD).

This new guidance encapsulates optimal practices for identifying and managing portal hypertension and varices in chronic liver disease. It identifies FibroScan, in conjunction with platelet count, as the most validated noninvasive staging system for compensated cirrhosis. It also endorses the “Rule of Five,” a simple tool used to quantify the escalating relative risk of decompensation and liver-related mortality. This rule also helps define cACLD, CSPH, and the threshold for screening upper endoscopy. The guidance also notes the strong correlation of spleen stiffness measurements (SSM), a measurement exclusive to FibroScan, with HVPG values (>10 mm Hg) and the potential role of SSM in ruling out varices needing treatment.

Dominique Legros, Global CEO of Echosens, added, “The endorsement of non-invasive methods for advanced disease from the AASLD fortifies our commitment to equip healthcare practitioners with accessible tools that are reliable, precise, and user-friendly. We are steadfast in our belief that noninvasive technologies hold the potential to radically transform the landscape of liver disease diagnosis and monitoring, thereby enhancing patient prognosis significantly.”

The guidance was developed by consensus of an expert panel and provides guidance statements based on a comprehensive review and analysis of the literature on the topic. To access the complete guidance published by AASLD, visit https://www.aasld.org. 

For more information about Echosens and its FibroScan technology, visit www.echosens.com.

About Echosens

Pioneer in its field, Echosens, significantly changed the practice of liver assessment with FibroScan®, the non-invasive solution for comprehensive management of liver health. Since it’s FDA approval in 2013, FibroScan® has been recognized worldwide and validated by over 4,200 peer-reviewed publications and 180+ international guidelines. Echosens has made FibroScan® available in over 127 countries, enabling millions of liver examinations worldwide. https://www.echosens.com/

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