The liver is a vital organ that plays a crucial role in filtering toxins, producing bile, and facilitating digestion. One of the most effective ways to evaluate liver health is through images taken during a liver ultrasound exam. An ultrasound is a diagnostic test that can produce precise images of an organ’s structure and detect any irregularities, allowing medical professionals to evaluate its function accurately.
This article aims to present a comprehensive guide to understanding liver ultrasound, offering insights into its benefits and the different types of examinations that can be performed using ultrasound imaging.
What is a Liver Ultrasound?
A liver ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to produce images of the liver. The sound waves bounce off the liver’s tissues and create a visual representation of its internal structure to detect potential problems before they become severe.
Medical professionals frequently use this imaging examination to detect ailments, including cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and liver tumors. Furthermore, it can effectively uncover any irregularities within the bile ducts and blood vessels that serve the liver.
Benefits of a Liver Ultrasound
Evaluating the liver through ultrasound imaging is secure and pain-free, offering numerous health advantages to the patient, such as:
Non-invasive: Unlike other diagnostic tests, a liver ultrasound does not require incisions or injections, making it a non-invasive procedure.
No radiation: Imaging techniques, such as X-rays or CT scans, use ionizing radiation, which is unsafe for pregnant women and young children. Ultrasound imaging does not use ionizing radiation and is a much safer option for these patients.
Provides detailed images: A liver ultrasound provides high-resolution images that allow medical professionals to identify even the slightest irregularities in the liver.
Quick and easy: In its entirety, a liver ultrasound takes less than 30 minutes to complete and, in most cases, does not require the patient to undergo any special preparation.
Different Types of Liver Ultrasound and Transient Elastography Exams
Transient elastography is a type of elastography that relies on a mechanical pulse generated by an external probe and can be performed on non-ultrasound-based systems. It is a non-invasive and quantitative technique that evaluates liver fibrosis and steatosis.
Transient elastography evaluates the degree of hepatic fibrosis with reference to pathological staging criteria. It has high sensitivity and accuracy to liver fibrosis and fatty liver in its early stages, which is conducive to early screening, diagnosis, evaluation, and rehabilitation of liver disease.
In conjunction with blood tests, shear wave elastography is used to determine the staging and progression of liver fibrosis with good sensitivity and repeatability. It is an adjunct to conventional 2D ultrasound exams, aiding in initial characterization and treatment follow-up.
A 2D liver ultrasound is a non-invasive test that produces standard, two-dimensional, grayscale images of a person’s liver and blood vessels. 2D ultrasounds can help to screen for various liver conditions, including fatty liver, cirrhosis, hepatitis, liver tumors, diseases of the biliary system, and blood flow abnormalities. Indications for this exam could include abdominal, flank, and/or back pain, jaundice, palpable abnormalities, such as an abdominal mass or organomegaly, and abnormal laboratory values.
An ultrasound is a safe and effective diagnostic test that provides detailed images of the liver’s internal structures. It is a non-invasive procedure that does not use ionizing radiation and can detect liver disease, tumors, and abnormalities in the bile ducts and blood vessels. Liver ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic tool to help detect, evaluate, and diagnose liver disease.
The Mindray Difference
At Mindray, we believe all clinicians deserve reliable, accessible medical devices that empower them to provide the best possible care for their patients. To ensure we continue to develop the tools clinicians need today and, in the future, we accompany and listen to customers and create a collaborative experience that results in innovative solutions that address the challenges they face every day. Explore Mindray’s dedicated liver solutions:
Hepatus 6 Transient Elastography Diagnostic Ultrasound System
Mindray’s latest technology in liver care is a complete solution for non-invasive liver disease management using transient elastography. The Hepatus 6 System is ideally suited for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of liver diseases. It provides clinicians with an easy-to-use and reliable solution for quantitative liver fibrosis and steatosis diagnosis.
The Resona 7 Ultrasound is a premium system powered by Zone sonography technology, the industry’s first virtual beamforming technology. ZST provides clear, ploppable imaging with excellent resolution and penetration.
The Resona 7 offers high frame rate Sound Touch Elastography allowing for smoother transition times and faster refresh rates for more consistent acquisition and assessment during live 2D shear wave imaging. The recent addition of Ultrasound Attenuation Imaging (USAT) provides an accurate and quantifiable method of diagnosing and monitoring liver steatosis.
The Resona I9 Ultrasound is a powerful and portable solution powered by Zone sonography technology, the industry’s first virtual beamforming technology. ZST provides clear, ploppable imaging with excellent resolution and penetration.
The system is equipped with high frame rate Sound Touch Elastography allowing for smoother transition times and faster refresh rates for more consistent acquisition and assessment during live 2D shear wave imaging.