Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Imaging Technology Accurately Identifies A Broad Spectrum Of Liver Disease

Date:
November 10, 2008
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
New imaging technology can identify liver fibrosis with high accuracy and help eliminate the need for liver biopsies. Liver fibrosis is a common condition that can lead to incurable cirrhosis if not treated in time.

A new study shows that an imaging technology developed by Mayo Clinic researchers can identify liver fibrosis with high accuracy and help eliminate the need for liver biopsies. Liver fibrosis is a common condition that can lead to incurable cirrhosis if not treated in time.

The technology, called magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), produces color-coded images known as elastograms that indicate how internal organs, muscles and tissues would feel to the touch. Red is the stiffest; purple, the softest. Other imaging techniques do not provide this information.

"Knowing the liver's elasticity or stiffness is invaluable in diagnosing liver disease," says Jayant Talwalkar, M.D., M.P.H., a Mayo Clinic hepatologist and co-investigator on the study. "A healthy liver is very soft, while a liver with early disease begins to stiffen. A liver with cirrhosis, advanced liver disease, can be rock hard."

The study, which included 113 patients, will be presented Nov. 3 at The Liver Meeting, an annual gathering of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, in San Francisco. Study participants had undergone liver biopsy in the year preceding the study and had a wide variety of liver diseases, including nonalcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Patients ranged in age from 19 to 78, and their body weight ranged from normal to severely obese.

"Results showed that elastography was highly accurate in detecting moderate-to-severe hepatic fibrosis even with the variety in age, types of liver disease and body size," says Dr. Talwalkar. Among the study's findings:

  • The detection of cirrhosis by MRE when compared to liver biopsy results was 88 percent accurate.
  • Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and no significant inflammation or fibrosis were identified with 97 percent accuracy.

"Using MRE, we can confidently avoid liver biopsies for patients with no evidence of advanced fibrosis, as well as for patients with cirrhosis," says Dr. Talwalkar.

Liver biopsies, conducted by extracting tissue samples with a needle, can underestimate the degree of hepatic fibrosis about 20 to 30 percent of the time because of the patchy distribution of fibrosis that occurs in the liver. Another drawback is that since liver biopsy is invasive, patients may be reluctant to have a biopsy performed and sometimes delay the procedure when liver disease is first suspected, says Dr. Talwalkar.

"Our goal in hepatology is to be able to diagnose liver disease early so that novel as well as established therapies can be provided to our patients," says Dr. Talwalkar. Treatment and lifestyle changes can help stop the progression of hepatic fibrosis to liver cirrhosis and liver failure, which would eventually require a liver transplant.

The incidence and prevalence of chronic liver disease is increasing in the United States. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has become the most common liver disease and is linked to the growing numbers of patients with obesity and diabetes. The number of patients seeking medical care for hepatitis C is also increasing. This disease, spread by coming into contact with blood contaminated by the virus, slowly damages the liver over decades.

MRE research began at Mayo Clinic about 10 years ago. The technology measures low-frequency acoustic waves transmitted into the abdomen. The wave motions measured are miniscule, 0.01 of the width of a human hair.

The noninvasive procedure takes seconds to conduct. Mayo Clinic is already using MRE to diagnose patients with liver conditions. Research is under way to study how MRE might aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and some cancers.

Also involved in the study were Mayo Clinic researchers John Gross, M.D.; Meng Yin, Ph.D.; James Glockner, M.D.; Naoki Takahashi, M.D.; Michael Charlton, M.D.; Patrick Kamath, M.D.; and Richard Ehman, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "New Imaging Technology Accurately Identifies A Broad Spectrum Of Liver Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134639.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2008, November 10). New Imaging Technology Accurately Identifies A Broad Spectrum Of Liver Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134639.htm
Mayo Clinic. "New Imaging Technology Accurately Identifies A Broad Spectrum Of Liver Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134639.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins