FibroScans

A FibroScan® provides information about the health of your liver. It is a simple, painless test that determines whether liver damage (fibrosis or cirrhosis) is present.

To request a FibroScan if you have hepatitis C please liaise with our staff to see whether there is a FibroScan clinic running in your area in the near future. In some cases, you may need to travel. 

Why do I need a FibroScan? 

Chronic hepatitis causes liver damage. Having a FibroScan is one of the most important things you can do to assess the health of your liver. If the FibroScan shows there is liver damage, we can recommend other ways to reduce further damage and improve your liver health.

What does it involve?

You will lie on your back, with your right arm raised above your head. A probe will be placed on your skin where the liver is located. The probe generates a sound wave that measures liver stiffness. The degree of stiffness determines if liver damage is present. More stiffness indicates more damage.

What do the results mean?

You will be provided with one of the following results:

• Normal liver/no fibrosis: you have a healthy liver with no scarring.

• Mild fibrosis: You have a small amount of scarring on the liver.

• Moderate fibrosis: You have a fair amount of scarring on the liver.

• Severe fibrosis: You have a large amount of scarring on the liver. We will refer you to hospital for further review and tests. We recommend you take action to reduce future damage to your liver.

• Cirrhosis: Your liver is very scarred, which means your liver won’t be working as it should. You may feel unwell with symptoms of liver failure. We will refer you to hospital for further tests.

Immigration and FibroScans

If you need a FibroScan for Immigration NZ, these can be requested by your GP or private specialist. Immigration NZ has advised that you can request an extension on your visa application if the department requires a FibroScan or other medical investigations that will take more than two weeks.

Access to Fibroscan by region

  • For referrals in Auckland and Northland:
    • Order Fibroscans via eReferrals under gastroenterology
    • For gastroenterology assessment and referrals into secondary care services see the Auckland Regional Health Pathway site for chronic hepatitis C. Northern Regional Alliance is the hepatitis C programme co-ordinator.
  • For referrals in Midlands region (Waikato, BOP, Tairawhiti, Lakes and Taranaki DHBs):  BPAC e-referral – ‘hepatitis C service – community service’ for Fibroscan and patient education. View the pathway of care via the Map of Medicine. Waikato DHB co-ordinates the programme. Contact hepatitis C and Fibroscan nurse Nancy via (07) 839 8899 ext 23017.
  • For referrals in Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North and Whanganui: use the Map of Medicine referral pathway. Compass Health is the hepatitis C programme co-ordinator. Fibroscan enquiries to programme co-ordinator Gloria on (04) 801 7808 or 027 567 6142.
  • Referrals in Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa: use the 3D Health Pathways (Compass Health is the hepatitis C programme co-ordinator). For Fibroscan enquiries call programme co-ordinator Gloria on (04) 801 7808 or 027 567 6142.
  • For the South Island please refer to the local DHB using South Island Health Pathways. South Island Alliance is the hepatitis C programme co-ordinator.

© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016