6, 7 Various tests (liver lab panels and radiological exams) are utilized; however, these tend to be more sensitive and specific in advanced stages of the diseases,
5 yet patients benefit the most from an early intervention and treatment.
7 This problem is amplified by the fact hat early liver disease tends to be asymptomatic; therefore, by the time a patient presents with related symptoms, the liver may be in an advanced stage of ibrosis and the only possible treatment pathway is liver transplantation. Today a liver biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosing and determining the severity of the disease.
5 However, the procedure is also associated with potential sampling errors as liver disease is heterogeneous and only 1/50,000 of the organ can be sampled in few discrete locations.
5 Contraindications or patient preference may result in no biopsy—it is invasive, painful, lengthy, and costly (in excess of $1,000 US) with complications ranging from minor to lethal. Biopsy is often not utilized for regular patient follow-up since it cannot be repeated frequently or in the same location.
PROPELLER 3.0 Inhance Inflow IR 2.0 Acknowledgement: The editor sincerely acknowledges the direction and input of Joanna Jobson, MSEE, MBA, MR Global Marketing Programs Manager, at GE Healthcare.
Recognizing a growing need for effective,
repeatable, non-invasive tests to
accurately rule out and assess diffuse
liver disease in its early stages,
GE Healthcare introduced MR Touch
and IDEAL IQ—advanced tools that
can assess liver health in vivo. Today,
clinicians are using these applications
to either complement biopsy results or
help determine when a patient should
undergo a liver biopsy.
MR Touch is a MR Elastography-based
imaging technique that helps evaluate
stiffness variations in liver tissue.
Non-invasive, rapid, and radiation-free,
MR Touch has the potential to aid early
detection and help evaluate the whole
organ for diffuse and focal liver diseases.
IDEAL IQ provides a non-invasive,
quantitative assessment of triglyceride
fat content in the entire liver, in a rapid,
single-breath-hold exam. It differentiates
between fat and water content, while
correcting for R2* confounding factors.
techniques. These exams can provide
comprehensive clinical information that
can improve the quality of a patient
evaluation while helping to eliminate
patient pain, discomfort, and risks
associated with invasive procedures. It
is possible with continued clinical use
that needle-free exams can simplify
workflow, and in many instances,
reduce the length and associated
costs of the procedure.
With needle-free exams, GE Healthcare
has embarked on an MR strategy
that puts forward new, visionary MR
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