What imaging reveals about liver health

Imaging is one of the marvels of modern medicine. It allows doctors to examine the health of your body’s internal organs, bones and joints without cutting you open. 

One of your most important organs is the liver. While we can gather some information about your liver’s health from blood tests and a physical examination, imaging tells us far more. 


What can go wrong with your liver? 

Your liver plays an essential role in digestive food and eliminating toxic substances from your body. Though it’s famed for its ability to regenerate itself, the liver is not invincible. Liver damage may occur due to: 


Over time, it may progress to fibrosis or cirrhosis, which can lead to life-threatening liver failure. 

Liver damage often happens slowly and quietly. By the time it declares itself in the form of symptoms or blood test results, it may already have progressed further than we would like. 


What imaging reveals about your liver

There are many different imaging tests that doctors can use to assess the health of your liver. 

These scans may show if your liver is affected by: 


How imaging informs treatment plans

Knowledge is power. When we know the current state of your liver, we can advise you on how best to protect it. 

That may include: 

  • Losing weight (if necessary)
  • Eating less fat
  • Avoiding things that stress your liver, such as:
    • Alcohol and other drugs
    • Certain medications
    • Certain herbal remedies
  • Having a liver biopsy so we can run tests on any suspected tumours
  • Taking medications to reduce inflammation, overcome insulin resistance or reduce cholesterol. 


Advances in liver scanning technology

Liver scan technology is the key to spotting early health warnings.

FibroScan is a type of liver elastography, which measures how long it takes for low-frequency vibrations to pass through the liver. The vibrations pass more slowly through scarred or fatty areas of your liver than through healthy parts, creating a picture of your liver health. 


It’s a little like an ultrasound but instead of creating an image of your liver, it gives us a score. 

Your liver score helps us assess:

  • The degree of liver damage
  • How any disease is progressing (by comparing to previous scans)
  • Whether or not a biopsy is necessary
  • The best treatment plan going forward. 


How can we help?

Moonee Valley Specialist Centre is one of the few clinics in Australia to offer liver scanning technology. 


Maybe you’ve had some recent blood tests that worried your GP. Maybe you’ve been a heavy drinker for years and are wondering if it did any damage. Maybe you need some peace of mind – or, at the very least, a plan of how to help your liver going forward. 

If that sounds like you, please ask your GP for a referral or contact us today.


All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Moonee Valley Specialist Centre can consult with you to confirm if a particular treatment or procedure is right for you. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. A second opinion may help you decide if a particular treatment is right for you.



Mayo Clinic, Liver disease, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502, [Accessed 30 January 2024]

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