Liver biopsy is one of the main diagnostic techniques for the detection of several hepatic disorders such as steatosis or iron deposits, commonly associated with diffuse liver diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, this technique is an invasive and expensive procedure that can lead to complications such as infection and even death and which, due to the small tissue sample, might provide biased results. As a solution, the measurement of liver fat and iron based on MR imaging allows to reveal tissue abnormalities before any symptoms appear, providing a reliable method to monitor even the effects of treatment. The most relevant imaging biomarkers, proton density fat fraction (PDFF) and iron related R2*, allow discriminating with high accuracy the different grades of liver steatosis and iron overload.
QUIBIM has developed a virtual liver biopsy app that analyzes abdominal MR examinations in which a multi-echo chemical shift (MECSE) gradient-echo sequence has been acquired. The solution provides a simultaneous quantification of fat and iron concentration with a single-peak approach. The analysis runs in a fully automated way with zero-clicks thanks to the automatic segmentation of the liver through AI and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) excluding large vessels. The results of the app include the parametric maps of fat and iron with voxelwise resolution and a quantitative structured report comparing the liver values of these imaging biomarkers to normative data.
This tool is useful for the early detection, diagnosis, treatment response evaluation and follow-up of diffuse liver diseases, such as steatohepatitis, hemochromatosis, metabolic syndrome, obesity, fibrosis, cirrhosis, inflammation. The PDFF and R2* values allow discriminating, with high accuracy, among the different grades of liver steatosis and iron overload.
- Diffuse liver diseases
- Metabolic syndrome
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