Interrelated lifestyle and demographic changes have resulted in a rise in non-communicable diseases among Sri Lankans. Moreover, evidence mounts of an increase in the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among adults in urban Sri Lanka.
As part of its endeavor to reduce patient discomfort and provide doctors’ access to a novel, non-invasive technique to diagnose liver diseases, Ceyoka (Pvt.) Ltd through its subsidiary Ceyoka Health recently introduced FibroScan - the latest breakthrough technology manufactured by Echosens, the only entity worldwide with the patent for liver imaging technology.
The recent event was attended by leading specialist doctors, radiologists, gastroenterologists and physicians, representatives from Echosens, the manufacturer, Professor Jose Luis Calleja (Cayeha) Panero - Assistant Chief of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Madrid - Spain and senior management from Ceyoka.
The new technology offers hope for all Sri Lankans afflicted by liver disease as an intelligent solution to aid clinical diagnosis. Speaking of the challenges faced in the diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD, Professor Janaka De Silva of Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, noted, “NAFLD is a common problem among our adults and it is starting to become a problem among the young as well.”
Professor De Silva added, “Ultrasound is the mainstay of diagnosing fatty liver, the most widely used. However, it cannot quantify the amount of fat in the liver and neither can it detect fibrosis. Although we consider biopsy as a gold standard, there maybe sampling errors and pitfalls.”
“FibroScan can quantify fibrosis and is brilliant as we’ll be able to differentiate between fatty livers and NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) patients. We may be able to also detect other conditions including Hepatitis B and C, Chronic Hepatitis which can lead to Cirrhosis, to detect these conditions early and treat them aggressively,” he said.
To successfully diagnose and treat liver disease a quick and effective technique is necessary. As Professor Arjuna P. De Silva noted, “Liver biopsy, yes it is the gold standard, but there is a lot of debate. The patient undergoes a lot of stress. There is a definite need for non-invasive tests for liver fibrosis. Out of the two available, bio markers and the ultra sound-based, FibroScan is one of the leading contenders. What is important is it is a risk-free procedure, no risk at all.”
“I firmly believe we have some of the best doctors in the world who can match any skills but we lack equipment. I want to thank Ceyoka for bringing this new technology,” Professor Arjuna added.
Echosens, an internationally renowned French company specializing in medical tools dedicated to the liver, manufactures FibroScan. Using a technology called vibration-controlled transient elastography, FibroScan works similar to an ultrasound in that it uses sound waves to measure the degree of scarring (fibrosis) that’s present in the liver but importantly presenting the results numerically.
Explaining the technology to Sri Lanka, Echosens Regional Manager Eastern Europe and Eurasia Camille Manceau said, “We are dedicated to the liver. There was a need for an alternative method to the biopsy. Echosens proposes to add value to the already existing tool box available to doctors by developing the FibroScan. It is painless and non-invasive.”
“The FibroScan computes two results at the same time. One is stiffness correlating with fibrosis and the other being controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) correlating with steatosis. FibroScan assists through the course of the disease; from routine, then to diagnose patients and initiate treatment and in the monitoring,” Manceau added.
Professor Calleja from Madrid University, Spain with over 60 landmark papers and having undertaken cutting-edge clinical work addressed the gathering on non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis.
Professor Calleja noted, “The gold standard is the liver biopsy but it is an imperfect standard and has its limitations, it is invasive. How we can assess the fibrosis, the prognostic value of these tools is important. FibroScan is one such tool.”
Through introducing FibroScan to the market Ceyoka continues to be at the forefront of offering healthcare solutions to meet the evolving needs of patients.