MR Elastography (MRE)

  • MR Elastography (MRE) is a non-invasive medical imaging technique that helps determine the stiffness of organs and other structures in your body. It is generally preferred in liver evaluations. Elastography directs low-frequency vibrations to the liver. MR Elastography Imaging measures the speed at which these vibrations move within the organ. With a computer system, a mapping of the hardness of the liver is thus made.

    Hardness in liver tissue can generally be considered a sign of illness. People with diseases such as liver fibrosis may not always experience symptoms. If liver fibrosis is not treated, it can become a life-threatening disease such as cirrhosis in the future. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment gain importance.

    MR Elastography can be used if a biopsy is not preferred in liver evaluations. It is a non-invasive imaging technique because it is performed with Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging. In this method, there is no procedure such as a biopsy to take a sample from the liver.

    In the examination performed by adding software to the MRI device, the images can be read through the software with the help of the MRI device and elastography apparatus.

    The Difference in Tissue Hardness Measurement with MR Elastography and Ultrasound

    In addition to MR Elastography, Ultrasound Elastography is also used. However, it has been reported that MR elastography provides more sensitive results than ultrasound elastography in obesity and ascites findings with liver diseases. The main reason for this is that MRI technology provides cross-sectional images. While MRI provides images showing all sections of the liver and tissue stiffness, the ultrasound-based technique usually provides measurements in areas close to the edge of the liver.

    MR Elastografi Örnek Görüntüler

    An example of the diagnosis made with MR elastography is the early detection of fibrosis with MRE in the above examination. Two patients with chronic hepatitis B. The patient in the top row has normal liver stiffness, while the patient in the bottom row has moderate liver stiffness. Biopsies excluded fibrosis in the first patient and showed mild fibrosis in the second. All conventional MR images were normal in both patients.

    Use of MRE to evaluate the above chronic hepatitis C patient and biopsy patient who showed hepatic fibrosis 5 years ago. After the patient refused the follow-up biopsy, an MRE was performed. The elastogram showed an average stiffness of 4.2 kPa, consistent with the mean fibrosis.