The fiber scan machine is an amazing new technology which allows clinicians to measure not only the fibrosis of their patient’s liver, but the level of steatosis, or the fatty content of their liver. In fact, the fiber scan machine has proven to be so efficient that in many cases it has replaced the traditional use of a liver biopsy. What makes the fiber scan machine unique is that it’s a completely non-invasive way of clinicians to get the information they need about the condition of a patient’s liver before recommending a treatment, unlike a liver biopsy which is extremely invasive and also sometimes leads to side effects such as chest pain, chills, fever or dizziness.
As compared to the liver biopsy, the new technology enables doctors to gather crucial information on their patients before moving forward with a particular treatment option. In a study that was carried out with 63 patients who were receiving direct acting antiviral treatment for HCV, it was found that many of the patients who had undergone the DAA treatment were experiencing weight gain once the treatment had been completed. Even more interesting was the fact that only the male patients who had undergone DAA therapy and took part in the study were experiencing this unexplained weight gain, and not the women. Further studies are needed for doctors to find out the exact cause of the weight gain in men after undergoing DAA therapy, but the new data is certainly being looked at closely. Isaac Wasserman, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and his colleagues believe that social and not mechanistic or biochemical factors are resulting to the unexplained weight gain in men, but they would have to expand the information retrieved from the fiber scan machine to validate any findings on achieved sustained virologic response.