Cirrhosis of the liver Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

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Right now, the only way doctors can be sure of how much fibrosis (scar tissue) is in your child’s liver is from a liver biopsy. Although many liver biopsies are performed at Boston Children’s Hospital each year, this is considered an invasive procedure. That means it is associated with some risk, often requires sedation or anesthesia, may cause some discomfort, and is somewhat expensive.

Physicians in the Center for Childhood Liver Disease at Boston Children’s are conducting research into other ways of finding out if your child has cirrhosis or how much scar tissue is present in your child’s liver. They are using a combination of special research blood tests and a technology called transient elastography to assess the severity of liver scarring. 

The elastography is done with a machine called a FibroScan (Echosens, Paris, France), which uses ultrasound technology to measure the stiffness of the liver. This is a quick, easy, and painless exam. If the research shows that these tests work, your child and others will need fewer liver biopsies in the future!

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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