Technology | November 25, 2009

MR Elastography Device Detects Liver Disease

MR elastography detects liver fibrosis. Provided by R. Ehman.

November 24, 2009 - Historically, clinicians have evaluated tissue stiffness – the physical property of tissue most affected by disease-through palpation. The diagnostic utility of this technique is now validated with the introduction of a new visual palpation device that uses low frequency sound waves in combination with MRI to measure tissue elasticity. The device, MR-Touch, extends the principles of palpation by providing clinicians a non-invasive method to detect changes in liver tissue. The complete view of the liver, versus individual samples, enables clinicians to improve diagnostic confidence, better monitor disease progression and provide more informed preventative guidance. IN addition, a non-invasive method supports a comfortable experience for the patient and reduces risks of complications and errors. Based on technology invented at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and licensed to GE Healthcare, the visual palpation device provides cost-effective way to evaluate tissue stiffness. "For centuries, physicians have relied on the sense of touch to reliably diagnose certain diseases," said Richard Ehman, M.D., professor of radiology and leader of the team that developed MR elastography at Mayo Clinic. "Today we know that abnormal tissue stiffness can actually be a cause of some disease processes. However, many regions of the body are not accessible to palpation and conventional diagnostic imaging technologies do not allow physicians to assess tissue stiffness. The introduction of MR elastography will also allow physicians around the world to explore new applications of this unique diagnostic imaging technology." MR-Touch will be commercially available with the Optima MR450w 1.5T system and requires a modest software upgrade along with a hardware accessory to a conventional MR scanner. For more information: www.gehealthcare.com

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