The pandemics of NASH currently affects 2 to 3% of the global adult population, projected to grow to 3 to 4% by 2030. Fatty liver is a precondition to NASH. It affects 25% of the worldwide population and more than 50% of type 2 diabetic, and obese patients. About 20% of patients with fatty liver disease develop NASH, which stays undiagnosed and asymptomatic until late complications occur, such as decompensated liver cirrhosis.
1- Younossi Z et al. Hepatology. 2016 Nov;64(5):1577-1586.
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Currently liver biopsy and histological assessment of liver tissue is the only way to diagnose NASH and assess the disease severity. Owing to the large population at risk, the lack of early symptoms and the invasiveness of liver biopsy, the medical community lacks an easy, non-invasive diagnostic tool for NASH. The expected approval of NASH pharmaceutical treatments in the coming months urges the development of such biomarkers of NASH severity so as to implement surveillance programs.
E-Scopics dematerialized ultrasound system supports quantitative elastography methods that estimate liver fibrosis severity via tissue stiffness. Liver elastography has proven to be a reliable method for liver fibrosis assessment in several chronic liver diseases like viral hepatitis.
The modality provides an overall estimation of liver tissue stiffness, and thereby overcomes sampling errors from biopsy. In addition liver elastography offers a continuous measurement of liver stiffness, which gets round quantization errors related to fibrosis histological scoring systems. These issues of liver biopsy have recently been highlighted by the analysis of the placebo arms of several NASH drugs pharmaceutical trials.