July 21, 2014

Fatty Liver

Axial "in-phase" MR image shows increased signal intensity of the liver.
Axial "opposed-phase" MR image shows decreased signal of the entire liver when compared with the same areas on in-phase image. 

  • Triglyceride accumulation within cytoplasm of hepatocytes
  • Can be due to alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis, drugs
  • May progress to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis
  • Avoid the use of "fatty infiltration of the liver", which is misleading because fat deposition in Fatty Liver is in hepatocytes - rarely in other cell types
  • Sensitivity/specificity for detection:
    • Ultrasound = 60-100% / 77-95%
    • Non-contrast CT = 43-95% / 90%
    • Chemical-shift MRI = 81% / 100%

MR Imaging

  • Because protons in water and fatty acid molecules precess in different resonance frequency, proton chemical shift imaging can be utilized to image this difference
  • If images are obtained when fat and water protons are "in-phase", their signals are additive (brighter). If they are "out-of-phase", their signals cancel each other (structure becoming darker)
  • Amount of hepatic fat can be quantified by assessing the degree of signal loss
Hamer OW, Aguirre DA, Casola G, et al. Fatty liver: imaging patterns and pitfalls. Radiographics 2006; 26:1637-1653.

No comments:

Post a Comment