Focus of the Report: Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a diagnostic test for assessing hepatic fibrosis, a form of liver damage that occurs when healthy tissue is replaced by stiff, fibrous scar tissue. This report focuses on MRE for prediction of serious potential consequences of liver disease such as development of cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Technology Description: MRE relies on visualization of the passage of acoustic waves through liver tissue while the patient is in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Analysis of the propagation of acoustic waves through the liver enables noninvasive assessment of the extent of fibrosis in the liver.
Controversy: MRE is a complex method for assessment of liver fibrosis that relies on the use of MRI. Blood tests have been developed that may be as reliable as MRE for staging of fibrosis and consequently for prognosis of subsequent disease in most patients.
What is the accuracy of MRE relative to histopathology for prognosis of disease related to hepatic fibrosis?
What is the accuracy of MRE relative to other methods for prognosis of disease related to hepatic fibrosis?
Does information provided by MRE improve treatment decisions and health outcomes?
Are safety issues associated with MRE?
Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for the use of MRE in the prognosis of disease related to hepatic fibrosis?
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