Magnetic Resonance Imaging
An abdominal magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] scan is an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the belly. It does not use radiation (x-rays).
This test may be used to look at:
- The cause of abnormal blood test results, such as liver or kidney problems
- The cause of abdominal pain or swelling
- Blood flow in the abdomen
- Blood vessels in the abdomen
- Lymph nodes in the abdomen
MRI can distinguish tumors from normal tissues. This can help the doctor know more about the tumor such as size, severity, and spread.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography [MRE] involves applying a probe to the back of a patient that results in the emission of low frequency vibrations through the liver, which then are measured through MRI spin echo sequence. A meta-analysis of five trials comparing MRE to liver biopsies showed a sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 95% in differentiating F0 to F1 from F2 to F4 as well as a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 94% in differentiating F0 to F3 from F4. This technique shares the same limitations as FibroScan. The usefulness of this method clinically continues to evolve.