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Diagnostic Imaging

Central Scheduling Phone: 603-663-2180


Magnetic Resonance Liver Elastography (MRE)


Liver fibrosis can be the result of chronic liver disease and if left untreated can become cirrhosis. Cirrhosis carries many complications such as liver failure, portal hypertension, varices, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and hepatic encephalopathy. Studies have proven that liver fibrosis may be reversible in the early stages and is why early detection is important. Currently, percutaneous biopsy is the standard practice for detected liver fibrosis.

MRE is an MRI-based method to test the stiffness of the liver and provides quantitative maps of tissue stiffness over large regions of the liver. This test takes only 5-10 minutes. If done in combination with a diagnostic abdomen MRI the total time is approximately 35-45 minutes.

If you have been booked for an MRI with Liver Elastography you will be asked to arrive at the MRI department 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. After the safety screening has been completed you will be provided a locker where you can safely lock your valuables. We encourage you to leave as many valuables as possible at home. MRI Safe clothing will be provided for you.

If your exam has been ordered to be done in combination with an MRI of the abdomen, we may be using an injection of contrast called Gadavist and requires that an IV be started in either your arm or hand.

In the scan room you will be asked to lie on your back onto an MRI coil (camera). An additional camera is placed over the abdomen and acts as an antenna. For the elastography specific pictures a mechanical driver (paddle like device) will be placed over the right side of your abdomen and held in place by a compression belt. This device is meant to send sound waves to your liver and determine the amount of stiffness. You will experience a vibration sensation during the scan and requires that you hold your breath.

You will be given hearing protection as the MRI machine makes a series of loud noises.
Click below to listen.

You will also be given the option of listening to satellite radio if you would like.

MRI scans are sensitive to motion and any motion may obscure information the Radiologist uses to make a formal report.

The formal report of the results will be sent to your referring physician who will explain the results to you.

Download this helpful article from Robert Sprague, MD., Radiologist