News | September 21, 2006

New MRI Technique Detects Liver Disease

The September 2006 issue of the journal Radiology reports that investigators have developed a new way to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to effectively gauge the hardness or elasticity of the liver. MR elastography (MRE), as the technique is called, holds great potential for detecting liver fibrosis, a common condition that can lead to incurable cirrhosis if not treated in time. MRE is an accurate and painless alternative to liver biopsy that may also have implications for diagnosing cancer.
“This is potentially an important diagnostic advance, since conventional imaging techniques, such as CT, MRI, and ultrasound are not capable of identifying liver fibrosis prior to the onset of cirrhosis,” stated Richard Ehman, M.D., lead investigator of the study and a researcher from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

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