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New Mayo Clinic MRI technology enables noninvasive liver diagnoses

ys Jayant Talwalkar, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and an investigator on the MRE studies. "More than 170 million people in the world are known to have hepatitis C, and nearly one-fourth of those will develop severe liver fibrosis. MRE can help us noninvasively identify fibrosis in this large patient population."

A second study looked at whether MRE can accurately measure portal hypertension, or high blood pressure in the portal vein that carries blood from the digestive track to the liver, usually as a result of cirrhosis of the liver. This study involved 35 individuals with varying degrees of chronic liver disease and 12 healthy volunteers. Researchers studied MRE examinations of liver and spleen stiffness and found that a highly significant correlation exists between liver and spleen stiffness in patients with portal hypertension. However, the validity of spleen stiffness as a noninvasive measure of portal venous pressure requires further study.

According to Dr. Ehman, many diseases cause the properties of tissue to change and will be likely candidates for diagnosis using MRE in the future. His research team is exploring the use of MRE in detecting breast cancer and Alzheimers disease.


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Contact: Elizabeth Rice
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
22-May-2007


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