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The U.S. is in the midst of a liver disease epidemic, but a new test may help turn the tide by leading to early detection of patients who may be at risk of disease progression.
Currently, an estimated 80-90 million people in the U.S. have diagnosed or undiagnosed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Among these, up to 20 million could have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), with as many as four-six million people projected to have advanced fibrosis, or scarring.1
NASH is predicted to be the leading indicator for liver transplant by 2030 so there is an urgent need to intervene early and accurately identify patients at risk of progressing to cirrhosis or other life-threatening liver-related events (LRE).
Now, for the first time, U.S. patients can access the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF™) Test, the only non-invasive blood test granted authorization by the FDA to assess the risk of disease progression in NASH patients. The ELF Test is proven to predict progression to cirrhosis and liver related events in patients with advanced fibrosis due to NASH, with testing done via a routine blood draw. The current standard for assessing liver fibrosis is a liver biopsy, a painful invasive procedure, that may be contraindicated or not possible for certain patients.
NASH is often called a ‘silent killer’ since patients typically don’t exhibit symptoms until the disease has progressed to the point of serious organ damage. If NAFLD progresses to NASH, it can inflame and damage the liver to the point of advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, dramatically increasing the patient’s risk of liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. These risks can be more than twice as high for people living with diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure.2
The ELF Test is a simple solution to this complex problem with the power to improve outcomes for millions of advanced fibrosis patients. Non-invasive testing provides an important tool to help improve the risk assessment of disease progression and ensure patients get the care they need, while simultaneously reducing healthcare costs from advanced disease progression.