Journal article

Liver fat content determined by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy.

Springer F, Machann J, Claussen C, Schick F, Schwenzer N ...see all

World J Gastroenterol, vol. 16, issue 13 (2010) pp. 1560-1566

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Hepatic steatosis as the most prevalent liver disorder can either
be related to alcoholic liver disease (ALD) or non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD). In both conditions, hepatocytes excessively
accumulate fat-containing vacuoles within their cytoplasm, which
is the key histological feature. In contrast to ALD, NAFLD is commonly
associated with metabolic syndrome, obesity and insulin resistance.
To determine increased liver fat content, liver biopsy is currently
considered the gold standard. Besides the invasive technique, various
other non-invasive techniques have been developed, such as ultrasound,
computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based methods. Among these techniques,
ultrasound and CT provide only qualitative information about hepatic
steatosis, whereas MRS- or MRI-based methods are able to determine
even small amounts of fat accurately. These non-invasive magnetic
resonance techniques have already proven their great potential, especially
in longitudinal and cross-sectional studies regarding various metabolic
conditions and medical treatment regimens. In this review, the most
common, non-invasive MRS/MRI techniques for assessment of intrahepatic
lipid content are described with their inherent advantages and limitations.

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  • PMID: 20355234


  • Fabian Springer

  • Jürgen Machann

  • Claus D Claussen

  • Fritz Schick

  • Nina F Schwenzer

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