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Medicineworld.org: Liver Diagnosis Breakthrough

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Liver Diagnosis Breakthrough

Liver Diagnosis Breakthrough
Researchers from Mayo Clinic have recently developed a new technique for using MRI to measure the hardness or elasticity of the liver. This exciting new technology which he is called promising a revolutionary new technique for detecting fibrosis of the liver. Currently liver fibrosis is diagnosed using needle biopsy. This new technology promises a new way of diagnosing liver fibrosis using a painless and a low-risk procedure. These findings are published in the latest edition of John radiology.

"This is potentially an important diagnostic advance, since conventional imaging techniques, such as CT, MRI and ultrasound are not capable of identifying liver fibrosis previous to the onset of cirrhosis," says Richard Ehman, M.D., Mayo researcher and lead investigator on the study.


"The Elastogram"

The healthy liver is very soft in comparison to most other tissues and particularly in comparison to a liver with cirrhosis, which is rock hard. The development by Dr. Ehman and colleagues applies vibrations to the liver and then utilizes a modified form of MRI to obtain pictures of the mechanical waves passing through the organ. The imaging can be accomplished in as little as 20 seconds. The wave pictures are then processed to generate a quantitative image of tissue stiffness -- called an elastogram.

Scientists compared results of the process on 12 patients with biopsy-proven liver fibrosis with those of 12 healthy participants. This pilot trial of MRE showed strikingly elevated stiffness in patients with fibrosis and that the stiffness increased with the progression of the condition.


Impact of the Research

The availability of a reliable, non-invasive method for detecting liver fibrosis could lead to early diagnosis -- in patients considered at risk for liver disease -- and increase their chances for successful therapy. For example, 170 million people worldwide are infected with chronic hepatitis C and a significant number will develop cirrhosis, which is untreatable. Even if some risk factors are identified, there is no way to predict which patients will develop fibrosis, and successive liver biopsies in all these patients aren't possible. Non-invasive monitoring with MRE of those at risk would detect the problem early and help assess the effect of therapys.


Posted by: Sue    Source




Did you know?
Researchers from Mayo Clinic have recently developed a new technique for using MRI to measure the hardness or elasticity of the liver. This exciting new technology which he is called promising a revolutionary new technique for detecting fibrosis of the liver. Currently liver fibrosis is diagnosed using needle biopsy. This new technology promises a new way of diagnosing liver fibrosis using a painless and a low-risk procedure. These findings are published in the latest edition of John radiology.

Medicineworld.org: Liver Diagnosis Breakthrough

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