Magnetic resonance elastography may be a viable alternative to detecting liver fibrosis in children.
MR elastography is the preferred method for assessing liver stiffness and is growing in availability. Here’s the background, benefits, and future of this nascent modality.
Ultrasound-based transient elastography provides excellent diagnostic accuracy in identifying cirrhosis due to recurrent hepatitis C following liver transplantation.
Ultrasound elastography is shown to raise sensitivity by 24 percent for preoperative assessment of axillary metastases in suspected breast cancer. Meanwhile, microbubbles identify sentinel lymph nodes, minimizing operations, according to researchers presenting at ECR 2011.
Just in time for a looming onset of new liver disease, MR elastography has arrived to employ principles as old as palpation and as new as cross-sectional imaging to create an accurate, noninvasive way to diagnose and stage hepatic fibrosis and other liver disorders.
Born in the U.S. and incubated in research facilities for more than 15 years, ultrasound elastography emerged with a splash across the Atlantic at the 2006 European Congress of Radiology. Researchers at the March meeting hailed the technique's potential to dramatically reduce benign breast biopsy rates.
Although ultrasound use in medicine continues to grow, the modality faces increasingly stiff competition from other modalities such as CT, MRI, and PET, which have undergone startling advances in the past several years. To respond to this competition, radiologists can employ several rapidly developing new technologies to enhance ultrasound's capabilities. With speckle reduction, volumetric imaging, and elastography, sonographers can reduce artifacts, improve image contrast, reduce image noise, and better gauge tissue stiffness to detect subtle hard-to-spot abnormalities. Proper use of these powerful new technologies can boost accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency to help keep ultrasound competitive with the other cross-sectional imaging modalities and perhaps open up new applications.