Prospective comparison of magnetic resonance imaging to transient elastography and serum markers for liver fibrosis detection

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Abstract

Background & Aims:

Establishing accurate non-invasive methods of liver fibrosis quantification remains a major unmet need. Here, we assessed the diagnostic value of a multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) in comparison with transient elastography (TE) and blood tests [including ELF (Enhanced Liver Fibrosis) and APRI] for liver fibrosis detection.

Methods:

In this single centre cross-sectional study, we prospectively enrolled 60 subjects with liver disease who underwent multiparametric MRI (DWI, DCE-MRI and MRE), TE and blood tests. Correlation was assessed between non-invasive modalities and histopathologic findings including stage, grade and collagen content, while accounting for covariates such as age, sex, BMI, HCV status and MRI-derived fat and iron content. ROC curve analysis evaluated the performance of each technique for detection of moderate-to-advanced liver fibrosis (F2–F4) and advanced fibrosis (F3–F4).

Results:

Magnetic resonance elastography provided the strongest correlation with fibrosis stage (r = 0.66, P < 0.001), inflammation grade (r = 0.52, P < 0.001) and collagen content (r = 0.53, P = 0.036). For detection of moderate-to-advanced fibrosis (F2–F4), AUCs were 0.78, 0.82, 0.72, 0.79, 0.71 for MRE, TE, DCE-MRI, DWI and APRI, respectively. For detection of advanced fibrosis (F3–F4), AUCs were 0.94, 0.77, 0.79, 0.79 and 0.70, respectively.

Conclusions:

Magnetic resonance elastography provides the highest correlation with histopathologic markers and yields high diagnostic performance for detection of advanced liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, compared to DWI, DCE-MRI, TE and serum markers.

See Editorial on Page 631

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