Practice offers noninvasive liver scans

Dr. William Shields
Dr. William Shields

Grand Junction Gastroenterology now offers a noninvasive diagnostic scan for liver conditions.

FibroScan offers a painless as well as nonsurgical alternative to liver biopsies, said  Dr. William Shields,
a gastroenterologist
with the practice. “FibroScan measures the stiffness of the liver using a similar technique to ultrasound. We are utilizing the diagnostic technology to examine liver scarring, or fibrosis, caused by a number of liver diseases.”

FibroScan emits a small pulse of energy that feels like a slight vibration on the skin. The scan takes only about 10 minutes and provides an immediate measurement, Shields said.

“Up until now, the only way to measure the liver stiffness was to do a liver biopsy, which is much more difficult for the patient. FibroScan is not only easier for the patient, it is actually better than a biopsy when it comes to predicting liver decompensation and it is just as good at predicting the likelihood of death among people coinfected with hepatitis C and HIV,” Shields said.

FibroScan can be used on patients of all ages and is recommended for patients with hepatitis B or C, autoimmune hepatitis, alcoholic liver diseases, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, genetic conditions and cirrhosis, Shields said.

Grand Junction Gastroenterology operates offices at 1035 Wellington Ave. For more information about FibroScan, call 242-6600 or visit the website located at