• HealthyNV Project
  • Research and Studies
  • Renown Health
  • University of Nevada, Reno

Give the Gift of Health This Season with ELF Testing

December 19, 2023

Renown and UNR School of Medicine Logo

Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine give the gift of early diagnosis and disease prevention this holiday season.  

With the season of giving upon us, give yourself the gift of health. The Renown Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) are excited to offer a free Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELFTM) test to patients at risk for a common type of liver disease, e.g. metabolic and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (M/NASH), and who enroll or are currently enrolled in the Healthy Nevada Project.

The ELF Test is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved non-invasive test to help identify people most at risk for liver scarring, e.g. cirrhosis, and allows doctors to intervene before irreversible damage occurs. If undetected and untreated, M/NASH can result in liver cirrhosis which could require liver transplantation or lead to death. This test is important as the symptoms of M/NASH can be silent or non-specific, making it difficult to diagnose. 

“There are currently more than 11,000 people across the U.S. on the national liver transplant waiting list, and with the heightened prevalence of NAFLD and M/NASH, this number is projected to keep rising; however, with research such as the ELF Test at our disposal, we are continuing to find ways to improve the health of those at risk for advanced liver disease,” said Bill Plauth, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Renown Health and Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at UNR Med. “We encourage our community to participate in this early risk detection. Through this sophisticated, noninvasive, blood test, our physicians and Advanced Practice Providers can better evaluate liver fibrosis to help those affected and enable researchers to improve the prevention and treatment of nonalcoholic liver disease as a whole.” 

This liver health-focused sub-study of the Healthy Nevada Project seeks to enhance the understanding of both NAFLD and M/NASH and to help inform the development of treatment options for these conditions, as few currently exist.

“Providing access to cutting-edge innovations such as the ELF Test is critical for both participants and the physicians and advanced practice providers that care for them.” said Joseph Grzymski, PhD, principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project and the Liver Disease Study and research professor at UNR Med.

Those interested in determining their risk for M/NASH and its progression are encouraged to enroll in the Metabolic & Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis study. Those who have consented and participated in the M/NASH research will be eligible and contacted with more information on how to receive the ELF Test. The Renown IHI is also happy to connect with physicians and Advanced Practice Providers interested in having their patients enroll in the Healthy Nevada Project and join the study. For members of the community who would like more information and learn how to enroll, please contact the Renown IHI at RenownIHI@renown.org or (775) 982-6914 to be connected to a Genomic Representative.

About the ELF™ Test 

The ELF Test is a noninvasive blood test that can quickly identify which patients are at an elevated risk for developing cirrhosis and other liver-related clinical events (LREs). In contrast to standard liver enzyme tests that reflect liver damage that has already occurred, the ELF Test combines three serum direct biomarkers of active fibrosis.

The ELF Test algorithm measures each of these biomarkers to create an ELF score, which can be used as an aid to assess the risk for future disease progression. Doctors may use this ELF score to help evaluate if a patient requires increased medical care and monitoring for their condition. Individuals interested in determining their risk for NASH and its progression are encouraged to enroll in the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Liver Disease Genome Atlas study. Those who have already consented and participated in the study will be contacted with more information on how to receive an ELF blood test. For more information or to enroll, please contact RenownIHI@renown.org or (775) 982-6914.

In the U.S., the ELF Testing Service is available from Brio Clinical, Inc., a CLIA-certified laboratory offering specialized testing throughout the United States. Brio Clinical is regulated under CLIA as qualified to perform high complexity testing.

Media Contacts

UNR Med 

M: 775-287-6788  

E: communications@unr.edu


Renown Public Relations

M: 775-691-7308

E: news@renown.org