Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have invented an extraordinary imaging tool with remarkable capabilities called
Magnetic Resonance Elastography.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) is a medical imaging technique that uses MRI and low frequency mechanical waves to noninvasively measure the stiffness of biological tissues. MRE is an FDA-approved upgrade for MRI systems.
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Hepatic fibrosis is known to increase the stiffness of liver tissue. Resoundant’s MRE technology works with existing MRI scanners to noninvasively measure liver tissue stiffness.
The image on the left shows a typical MRI scan. Now see how our technology reveals more information…
MRE uses low-frequency mechanical waves during an MRI scan to noninvasively assess the elastic properties of the patient’s soft tissue.
A scan takes only 15 seconds.
When combined with a capable MRI scanner, Resoundant’s proprietary technology can assess soft tissue stiffness and highlight the results in an elastrogram with extremely high degrees of accuracy, consistency and specificity. The technology is available as an upgrade to MRI scanners from GE Healthcare, Siemens and Philips.
A study that compared the diagnostic performance of MRE, ultrasound elastography, and AST blood tests to biopsy samples found MRE to be 94% concordant, ultrasound elastography 84% concordant, and AST blood test 70% concordant.1
Additionally, MRE is not impacted by obesity (high BMI) or the presence of ascites as is the case with ultrasound elastography. Also, the presence of steatosis does not affect liver stiffness with MRE. In several studies MRE demonstrated the ability to identify steatohepatitis before the onset of fibrosis—an important indicator for treatment.2
Mayo Clinic patient K. Anderson describes herself as "a 43-year-old fairly healthy mother of two." She recently volunteered to undergo an MRE exam. "Part of me just wanted to know how exactly someone could vibrate my liver ...the other part of me wanted to know why my liver enzymes are always a little high, something my family physician assures me is nothing to be concerned about."
"On my day off, I went to the lab to experience MRE. It is an experience like no other, and I do mean that in a good way. No needles, no poking and prodding, just a small circular device (much like the surface of a drum) that was strapped around my abdomen before I was moved into the MRI machine. Once in the machine, I was asked to inhale, exhale and then hold my breath. The 'drum' literally vibrated in different drum beats which then helped the physician see a better scan of my liver. It was pretty amazing.
MRE and what it does, makes me think of a marshmallow. Just like a marshmallow fresh out of the bag, a soft liver is good. As a marshmallow gets stale, the surface hardens. I was happy to learn that my liver is soft and healthy -- and to find that out without experiencing any pain."
When compared to DWI and morphologic MR, MRE is shown to have higher sensitivity and specificity than either conventional MR technique.
No needles, no poking and prodding, just a small circular device (much like the surface of a drum) that was strapped around my abdomen before I was moved into the MRI machine.
Resoundant, Inc is a medical technology company dedicated to improving patient care and diagnosis accuracy by making Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) available around the world. We are based in Rochester, MN and were founded by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & Research, Mayo Clinic physicians and researchers.
Huwart L, Sempoux C, Vicaut E, et al. Magnetic resonance elastography for the noninvasive staging of liver fibrosis. Gastroenterology 2008;135(1):299-302 ↩
Venkatesh SK, Teo LLS, Ang BWL, Ehman RL. Noninvasive detection of liver fibrosis: Comparison of MR Elastography with diffusion weighted MR imaging. European Congress of Radiology 2010, Vienna, Austria, March 4–8, 2010. ↩