Hepatic fibrosis is potentially reversible; however early diagnosis is necessary for treatment in order to halt progression to cirrhosis and development of complications including portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma. Morphologic signs of cirrhosis on ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) alone are unreliable and are seen with more advanced disease. Newer imaging techniques to diagnose liver fibrosis are reliable and accurate, and include magnetic resonance elastography and US elastography (one-dimensional transient elastography and point shear wave elastography or acoustic radiation force impulse imaging). Research is ongoing with multiple other techniques for the noninvasive diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis, including MRI with diffusion-weighted imaging, hepatobiliary contrast enhancement, and perfusion; CT using perfusion, fractional extracellular space techniques, and dual-energy, contrast-enhanced US, texture analysis in multiple modalities, quantitative mapping, and direct molecular imaging probes. Efforts to advance the noninvasive imaging assessment of hepatic fibrosis will facilitate earlier diagnosis and improve patient monitoring with the goal of preventing the progression to cirrhosis and its complications.
- Chronic liver disease
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology