MRI can effectively diagnose non-invasive liver diseases

Release date: 2007-06-20

MRI is an effective tool for the diagnosis of non-invasive liver disease. Two recent studies have shown that magnetic resonance imaging (MRE), a new imaging technique, is a non-invasive tool for the diagnosis of liver disease. The liver can cause cell destruction and develop into scar tissue or fibrosis due to many diseases. MRE is developed on the basis of MRI and can effectively measure the hardness and elasticity of the liver. At the same time as the liver vibrates, the MRE can obtain an image formed by mechanical waves penetrating the organ. After the image is processed, information about the hardness of the corresponding tissue can be obtained. Healthy liver tissue is very soft, while fibrotic liver is hard, and hardened liver is as hard as rock. Dr. Richard Ehman of the Mayo Clinic explained. If it is found earlier, liver fibrosis can be reversed, but once it develops into cirrhosis, it is irreversible. Dr. Ehman and his team, with the help of a gastrointestinal physician, studied whether MRE can provide credible and accurate information at different levels of liver disease. The study involved 57 patients with chronic liver disease and 20 healthy volunteers. Studies have shown that MRE is sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of liver fibrosis. Studies have also shown that fatty degeneration, fatty acid and triglyceride deposition in liver cells, is a common disease of liver disease, does not affect the detection of fibrosis by MRE. The second Mayo study examined whether MRE can accurately detect portal hypertension, or portal vein hypertension caused by blood flowing from the digestive tract into the liver, typical cirrhosis results. The study involved 35 patients with chronic cirrhosis and 12 healthy volunteers. The researchers used MRE to detect the hardness of the liver and spleen and found a significant correlation between liver and spleen stiffness and portal hypertension. According to Dr. Ehman, many diseases that can lead to tissue changes can be detected by MRE in the future. His research team is evaluating the feasibility of using MRE to detect breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease. These findings were presented at the annual MRI conference in Berlin in May 2007 and at the Digestive Diseases Conference in Washington this year. ——Midi Medical Network

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