Cirrhosis can be diagnosed with noninvasive cross-sectional imaging. Morphologic changes include relative hypertrophy of hepatic caudate and left lateral lobes, contour nodularity/lobularity, and widening of intrahepatic fissures.
People with early-stage cirrhosis of the liver usually don't have symptoms. Often, cirrhosis is first detected through a routine blood test or checkup. To help confirm a diagnosis, a combination of laboratory and imaging tests is usually done.
Your doctor may order one or more tests that may suggest a problem with your liver, including:
Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to check for signs of liver malfunction, such as excess bilirubin, as well as for certain enzymes that may indicate liver damage. To assess kidney function, your blood is checked for creatinine. You'll be screened for the hepatitis viruses. Your international normalized ratio (INR) is also checked for your blood's ability to clot.
Based on the blood test results, your doctor may be able to diagnose the underlying cause of cirrhosis. He or she can also use blood tests to help identify how serious your cirrhosis is.
Imaging tests. Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) may be recommended. This noninvasive advanced imaging test detects hardening or stiffening of the liver. Other imaging tests, such as MRI, CT and ultrasound, may also be done.
Biopsy. A tissue sample (biopsy) is not necessarily needed for diagnosis. However, your doctor may use it to identify the severity, extent and cause of liver damage.
If you have cirrhosis, your doctor is likely to recommend regular diagnostic tests to monitor for signs of disease progression or complications, especially esophageal varices and liver cancer. Noninvasive tests are becoming more widely available for monitoring.”
The test performed was likely a fibroscan. It is similar to an ultrasound but the devise produces a sort of thump that can estimate liver stiffness. The Fibroscan report will have a score that can be converted to an “F” score (fibrosis score) The result also includes an estimate of inflamation.
If it was only an ultrasound this can show changes consistent with cirrhosis like a coarsened echotexture. So that along with blood testing like having a low platelet count and other results consistent with cirrhosis along with symptoms of cirrhosis combined with a condition that could lead to cirrhosis can be used together to make a determination of cirrhosis even without having an invasive liver biopsy.
I treated 3 times in the past with the old interferon treatments but was a non responder. I underwent 4 liver biopsies once every five years after I was diagnosed with hep c. After what was likely 30 years of Hep c infection I was diagnosed with cirrhosis in my 4th biopsy back in January 2008.