Quantitative assessment of hepatic fibrosis in an animal model with magnetic resonance elastography

Meng Yin, John Woollard, Xiaofang Wang, Vicente E. Torres, Peter C. Harris, Christopher J. Ward, Kevin J. Glaser, Armando Manduca, Richard L. Ehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Chronic liver disease is a world-wide problem that causes progressive hepatic fibrosis as a hallmark of progressive injury. At present, the gold standard for diagnosing hepatic fibrosis is liver biopsy, which is an invasive method with many limitations, including questionable accuracy and risks of complications. MR elastography (MRE), a phase-contrast MRI technique for quantitatively assessing the mechanical properties of soft tissues, is a potential noninvasive diagnostic method to assess hepatic fibrosis. In this work, MRE was evaluated as a quantitative method to assess the in vivo mechanical properties of the liver tissues in a knockout animal model of liver fibrosis. This work demonstrates that the shear stiffness of liver tissue in-creases systematically with the extent of hepatic fibrosis, as measured by histology. A linear correlation between liver stiffness and fibrosis extent was well-defined in this animal model. An additional finding of the study was that fat infiltration, commonly present in chronic liver disease, does not significantly correlate with liver stiffness at each fibrosis stage and thus does not appear to interfere with the ability of MRE to assess fibrosis extent. In conclusion, MRE has the potential not only for assessing liver stiffness, but also for monitoring potential therapies for hepatic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • ARPKD mouse model
  • Fat infiltration
  • Hepatic fibrosis
  • MR elastography
  • Shear stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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