Providence Imaging Center in Anchorage now offers ultrasound-based liver elastography

Siemens, manufacturer of our ultrasound equipment in Anchorage, has software that measures tissue stiffness in the liver. Providence Imaging Center in Anchorage offers ultrasound-based liver elastography (acoustic radiation force impulse imaging/shear wave elasticity imaging) to referring offices.

This non-invasive imaging test for fibrosis may help patients avoid liver biopsy.

If indicated on the referring provider’s order “with liver elastography”, elastography will be performed on patients referred for abdominal ultrasound with a diagnosis or history of Hepatitis B or C, and/or fibrosis or cirrhosis of the liver.

 

 

FAQ

How does an office schedule this test?
There are currently two ways to ask for elastography to be done on patients:

  • For a patient who is getting an abdomen complete ultrasound with special attention to the liver, to evaluate Hep B or C. Prep: Patient should be NPO for 8 hours prior. Appointments available: 8 a.m. – noon, M-F. What to order:Abdomen complete with liver elastography.
  • For a patient who needs to be seen only to evaluate the liver, to evaluate Hep B or C. A limited abdominal ultrasoundwill be scheduled. Prep: Patient should be NPO for 8 hours prior. Appointments available: 8 a.m. – noon, M-F. What to order: abdomen limited with liver elastography.

Is there an extra charge for the elastography portion of the abdominal exam? Yes. As this is a new test, we are still in the process of finalizing codes and charges. Elastography does not require pre-authorization; however, patients are encouraged to confirm specific benefits coverage with their insurance provider.

How is the test performed? The patient lies supine or left lateral decubitus, and a transducer is placed over the region of the liver. The sonographer, assisted by a time-motion image, locates a liver portion that is free of vascular structures, normally segment 8 or 9. The device calculates a numerical measurement (shear wave velocity), in meters per second for the selected ROI tissue, using a standardized ROI box.

What will the report say? The VTTQ worksheet, included in the images generated during the ultrasound, indicates the median velocity of the shear waves in m/s.

What does VTTQ mean? Virtual Touch™ Tissue Quantification – the proprietary name given by Siemens Medical Solutions.

Where is this test performed? Currently, Providence Imaging Center in Anchorage offers liver elastography at 3340 Providence Drive, in the A Tower, first floor.

How can I find out more about this test? Please contact Providence Imaging Center at (907) 212-3151.