A NEW study suggests modern scanning technology could halve the number of scans required for people with fatty liver disease.
It concluded that 458 out of every 1000 liver biopsies could be avoided if people were assessed using scanning technology.
Published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the study says that using non-invasive digital image scanning as a first line of testing could rule out the need for other procedures.
Fifty patients and six healthy volunteers underwent the process and results were processed by specialists.
A summary of three key biochemical characteristics of the liver was compared to the image to help doctors diagnose cases of fatty liver disease.
Researcher Philip Newsome said instances of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were on the rise.
"As numbers are expected to grow, this will undoubtedly have a major impact on the nation's health and will place a significant demand on resources," he said.
The scanning technology used for the research was developed by Perspectum Diagnostics.
The study was led by the University of Birmingham and the University of Edinburgh and carried out in conjunction with the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford.