Purpose: To assess the technical success rate and diagnostic performance of liver magnetic resonance (MR) elastography. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board with patient informed consent. A total of 1377 consecutive MR elastography examinations performed between 2007 and 2010 in 1287 patients for clinical indications were included. Medical records were used to retrieve liver stiffness as assessed with MR elastography, histologic analysis, blood work, and other liver disease-related information. Nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis tests and analysis of covariance methods were used to evaluate the diagnostic values and relationships of the collected data. Results: Hepatic MR elastography had a success rate of 94.4% (1300 of 1377 cases) and yielded reproducible measurements (r = 0.9716, P , .0001) in the study cohort, with a complex patient profile and multiple interpreters. Body mass index had no significant effect on success rate (P = .2). In 289 patients who underwent liver biopsy within 1 year of the MR elastography date, mean liver stiffness as assessed with MR elastography was significantly higher in patients with advanced fibrosis (stages F3, F4) than in those with mild to moderate fibrosis (stages F0, F1, F2) (5.93 kPa 6 2.31 [standard deviation] vs 3.35 kPa 6 1.44, P , .0001). Liver stiffness is associated with many factors other than fibrosis extent, including cause of fibrosis (viral hepatitis C vs nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, P = .025), inflammation (severe vs mild to moderate, P = .03), and hepatic metabolic and synthetic function (no fibrosis vs intermediate fibrosis, P ≤ .01). Conclusion: In a general clinical practice environment, hepatic MR elastography is a robust imaging method with a high success rate in a broad spectrum of patients. It also shows the complex association between liver stiffness and hepatic pathophysiology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging