Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Abdominal Imaging - Original Article

MR quantification techniques in fatty liver: the diagnostic performance of hepatic T1, T2, and stiffness measurements in relation to the proton density fat fraction


Department of Radiology, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Biostatistics, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Gastroenterology, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 1: -
Read: 165 Published: 10 April 2020

PURPOSE: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can progress to liver cirrhosis and is predicted to become the most frequent indication for liver transplantation in the near future. Noninvasive assessment of NAFLD is important for diagnosis and patient management. This study aims to prospectively determine the liver stiffness and T1 and T2 values in patients with NAFLD and to compare the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and mapping techniques in relation to the proton density fat fraction (PDFF).

METHODS: Eighty-three patients with NAFLD and 26 participants with normal livers were imaged with a 1.5 T scanner. The PDFF measurements obtained from the multiecho Dixon technique were used to quantify the liver fat. The values from MRE, native T1 mapping (modified Look-Locker inversion recovery [MOLLI] schemes 5(3)3, 3(3)3(3)5, and 3(2)3(2)5 and the B1-corrected variable flip angle [VFA] method), and T2 mapping in NAFLD were correlated with the PDFF. The diagnostic performance of MRE and the mapping techniques was analyzed and compared.

RESULTS: The T1 values measured from the MOLLI schemes, the B1-corrected VFA (P<0.001), and the stiffness values from MRE (P=0.047) were significantly higher in the NAFLD group. No significant difference was found between the groups in terms of the T2 values (P=0.127). In differentiation of the NAFLD and control groups, the accuracy and area under the curve (AUC) achieved with the B1-corrected VFA technique were slightly higher than those of the MOLLI schemes. In the NAFLD group, there was a good correlation between the PDFF, MOLLI 3(3)3(3)5 and 3(2)3(2)5, and VFA T1 measurements (r=0.732; r=0.735; r=0.716, P<0.001, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Liver T1 mapping techniques have the potential to distinguish steatotic from nonsteatotic livers, and T1 values seem to have a strong correlation with the liver fat content.

EISSN 1305-3612