Evidence-based recommendations on Virtual Touch Quantification to diagnose and monitor liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B and C.

In January 2020, we updated this guidance to reflect new pooled estimates for the sensitivity and specificity of VTq for hepatitis C. Details of the modifications are explained in the review decision. New evidence identified during the guidance review is denoted as [2020].

Is this guidance up to date?

The VTq software on ACUSON S2000 and S3000 assessed in this guidance is still available in the UK. The company has added VTq to the ACUSON Juniper system for liver indications.

A development by the company is point shear wave elastography (pSWE) on the ACUSON Sequoia system. pSWE has an identical function to VTq on the ACUSON S2000 and S3000 ultrasound systems. The company notes that the ACUSON Redwood, which supports liver assessment using pSWE, will be released shortly.

Next review: This guidance will be reviewed if there is new evidence that is likely to change the recommendations.

Guidance development process

How we develop NICE medical technologies guidance

NICE medical technologies guidance addresses specific technologies notified to NICE by sponsors. The ‘case for adoption’ is based on the claimed advantages of introducing the specific technology compared with current management of the condition. This case is reviewed against the evidence submitted and expert advice. If the case for adopting the technology is supported, then the technology has been found to offer advantages to patients and the NHS. The specific recommendations on individual technologies are not intended to limit use of other relevant technologies which may offer similar advantages.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)