Researchers at the University of Oxford, the University of Westminster and Perspectum Diagnostics have shown that effective assessment of the health of the liver can be done non-invasively using MRI-based imaging.
Liver disease is a global epidemic accompanied by an increasing demand for robust methods to assess the health of the liver. Typically, this is done through liver biopsy, which can be painful and unpleasant for patients, and at the same time is limited by the small sample size and subjective assessment.
The researchers investigated the use of multiparametric MRI to determine if it could improve assessment with a non-invasive method. In a study involving 61 participants, MR scans were assessed using Perspectum Diagnostics' LiverMultiScan software to measure three key biomarkers of liver disease: iron, fibro-inflammation and fat. The study revealed high levels of accuracy in diagnosis using a variety of MRI scanners at different field strengths, in a non-invasive procedure lasting under 15 minutes.
Professor Stefan Neubauer at the University of Oxford, said: "As the rise in obesity and Type 2 diabetes perpetuates the liver disease epidemic, there is an urgent need for scalable, non-invasive solutions that benefit the management and diagnosis of patients with liver disease. This data demonstrates the reliability of measurements using LiverMultiScan and is particularly relevant for monitoring disease in clinical practice and assessing response to treatment in multi-site clinical trials."
Perspectum Diagnostics was founded in partnership with the University of Oxford in 2012. The company focuses on the detection and measurement of liver, gallbladder and pancreatic disease, including precancerous and cancerous states.