MR elastography

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

MR elastography (MRE) is an MRI technique that can be used to assess liver stiffness. This is useful not only to detect the development of fibrosis in diffuse liver disease but also to quantify it and monitor liver fibrosis change with (or without) therapy.

The main advantage over ultrasound elastographic techniques is that a larger portion of the liver is sampled, reducing sampling bias.

  • patients should be fasting for 4-6 hours before the MRI exam
  • a passive pneumatic driver is connected to an active driver outside the MRI room
    • this generates 60 Hz mechanical compressions over the liver
  • the driver is typically placed on a supine patient over the right upper quadrant of the abdominal wall
  • images should be taken in end-expiration
  • MR elastography in the liver is limited by hepatic iron deposition

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