Fatty liver is often a silent condition, with no symptoms. Although liver blood tests (AST and ALT may be elevated, most people with fatty liver usually feel fine. Some may complain of a dull pain or discomfort under their right rib cage, which is due to swelling of the liver because of excess fat. Blood tests and imaging can confirm a fatty liver diagnosis. Imaging options include ultrasound, ultrasound elastography or Fibroscan. A liver biopsy is sometimes done to confirm the more severe type of fatty liver, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
What is a fibroscan?
In the past, a liver biopsy was necessary to evaluate the level of scar tissue (called ‘fibrosis”) present in the liver. FibroScan® is a simple, noninvasive test, similar to an ultrasound, that measures liver fibrosis in just a few minutes. Assessing fibrosis is a crucial step toward evaluating the stage of your liver condition. Although a biopsy may still be necessary, FibroScan is useful for confirming the fatty liver diagnosis and for predicting how much scarring is present in the liver.