MRE Imaging

1 What is a Magnetic Resonance Elastography?

A new way to image the body is called magnetic resonance elastography or MRE and this works by combining sound waves with MRI imaging to create visual map or elastogram which will show stiffness of body tissues.

This can be a noninvasive way to diagnose diseases in other parts of the body and is also used to detect hardening of the liver caused by many kinds of chronic liver disease.

2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to receive a magnetic resonance elastography.

The stiffness of liver tissue in people with suspected liver disease is the one that MRE measures. There will be an increase in the stiffness of liver tissue because the liver disease may result in scarring of the liver or fibrosis. Untreated liver fibrosis may progress to cirrhosis that can be fatal.

Often, people with liver fibrosis don't experience any signs or symptoms. To reverse the condition or to halt progression is how liver fibrosis can be treated. MRE is highly accurate at ruling out liver fibrosis according to some studies.

MRE can help your doctor gauge the severity of your liver disease, assess your response to treatment and guide treatment decisions if you have liver fibrosis. The doctor will use a needle to get a biopsy.

Some of the advantages of MRE include:

  • It assesses the entire liver, not just the portion of liver tissue that is biopsied or imaged by other noninvasive tests.
  • It is noninvasive and generally safer and more comfortable than biopsy is.
  • It is effective in people who have fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) or obese.
  • It can detect fibrosis at an earlier stage than can other imaging methods.
Have a question aboutMagnetic Resonance Elastography?Ask a doctor now

3 Potential Risks

Along with undergoing a magnetic resonance elastography comes potential risks. The metals in your body might be a safety hazard.

Tell the technologist of you to have any electronic devices or metals in your body such as:

  • Artificial heart valves
  • Metallic joint prosthesis
  • A pacemaker
  • An implantable heart defibrillator
  • Metal chips
  • A shrapnel, bullet or any other type of metal fragment
  • Cochlear implants

Your doctor will suggest an alternative exam or postpone the MRE if you are pregnant.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In order to prepare for the magnetic resonance elastography, you can eat and drink normally unless otherwise instructed.

Your doctor will ask you to change into a hospital gown and remove:

  • Jewelries
  • Hairpins
  • Your watch
  • Eyeglasses
  • Dentures
  • If you have a wig
  • Your underwire bra
  • Hearing aids

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your magnetic resonance elastography procedure.

MRE is part of an MRI examination. The MRI takes up about 30 to 45 minutes but the MRE itself only takes up about less than 5 minutes.

A small pad will be placed on the surface of your body in MRE and this pad emits low-frequency vibrations that pass through your liver, then the speed will be measured. Vibrations will travel faster through a stiff tissue.

6 Procedure Results

Understanding the results of your magnetic resonance elastography will be made possible by your doctor.

A computer program will create a color-coded map showing the stiffness in your liver tissue after the MRE procedure.

A radiologist who specializes in interpreting MRE will check and analyze the images and will report his findings to your doctor.

You and your doctor will discuss the results and what will be the next step.

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