MRE for Liver Disease
Evaluating Liver Health
Your liver responds to many diseases that damage its cells by developing scar tissue or fibrosis. If poked, a healthy liver is very soft. Alternatively, a liver that has developed fibrosis is firmer, and if the condition progresses to cirrhosis, the liver can be almost rock-hard.
The liver is a famously resilient organ, however, and if detected early, the onset of fibrosis can often be treated. But patients at risk for liver disease must be vigilant. Once the disease progresses to cirrhosis, the condition can be irreversible. Worse, about half of all patients diagnosed with cirrhosis will die within five years unless they receive a liver transplant.
MR Elastography (right) is the only non-invasive liver exam that can reliably distinguish between stages of fibrosis. Other non-invasive exams can simply rule out the most extreme cases of cirrhosis (but not know exactly how far along in the disease progression you may be). With MRE, however, you can see if you have early stage liver fibrosis - allowing you and your doctor to remove the guesswork and proactively develop a treatment plan to reverse the damage and improve liver health.
Helping Patients Manage Liver Disease with Less Pain
April 30, 2012
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis are major public
health problems worldwide.
In 2004, these conditions were associated with nearly 40,000 deaths and a cost of at least $1.4 billion for medical services in the U.S. alone.
“In adults with NAFLD and a higher risk of cirrhosis, MRE is suggested, rather than VCTE (i.e., Fibroscan®), for detection of cirrhosis”
American Gastroenterological Association Institute Guideline on the Role of Elastography in the Evaluation of Liver Fibrosis (2017)
"MRE is excellent for identifying varying degrees of fibrosis in patients with NAFLD. VCTE or MRE are clinically useful tools for identifying advanced fibrosis in patients with NAFLD."
The Diagnosis and Management of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Practice Guidance From the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (2017)
"MR elastography is the most accurate method for diagnosing liver fibrosis non-invasively because it assesses the whole liver and can stage liver fibrosis."
American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria®: Chronic Liver Disease (2017)
Resoundant CEO, Richard Ehman, MD Discusses MR Elastography and Liver Disease
What to Ask Your Doctor
Facing options and making sound decisions regarding your health and well-being can be difficult sometimes. Here are some questions that you can ask your doctor:
What do you know about MR Elastography and is it the best choice for my situation?
Does the medical facility you are affiliated with offer MR Elastography as an alternative to traditional needle biopsy? If not, can you work with a facility that does?
Patient: John Smith
Test Ordered: MRE (liver stiffness)
Referring Physician: Judy Shah, MD
Slice 1: 4.73 kPa
Slice 2: 4.59 kPa
Slice 3: 4.37 kPa
Slice 4: 4.58 kPa
Patient's Mean Hepatic Stiffness: 4.58 kPa (F3-F4)
Stiffness Range: 4.37-4.73 kPa
Volume (cm^3): 387.4
Interpretation of MRE results:
Increased liver stiffness under appropriate clinical and laboratory findings is compatible with liver fibrosis as below:
3.0 to 3.5 kPa = Stage 1-2 fibrosis
3.5 to 4 kPa = Stage 2-3 fibrosis
4 to 5 kPa = Stage 3-4 fibrosis
>5 kPa = Stage 4 fibrosis
The MRE Report
Your patient is more than just a score. Show them their liver, and find a new level of patient engagement.
"Seeing my liver and the state of disease for the first time was a very powerful, emotional moment - it left me speechless," recalls Deb.
"MRE painted a true picture of the PBC progression. I used to be mad at my liver, but then I felt bad for it and decided to protect and take care of it as much as possible."