New Detection Method for Liver Fibrosis Without Biopsy - Cincinnati Children's Blog

New Detection Method for Liver Fibrosis Without Biopsy

A new study shows that non-invasive imaging technique, called magnetic resonance elastograpy (MRE) can help physicians detect fibrosis (scarring) in children, which is an obesity-related problem.

Chronic liver diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), are increasingly common in children and teens, as obesity levels increase. NAFLD, which can be detected with MRE, can lead to progressive liver disease and failure.

“Because many patients in the United States with NAFLD are severely obese, MRE is likely to be superior to ultrasound-based elastography in this population, as ultrasound-based methods are less reliable in severely obese patients,” says Stavra Xanthakos, MD, a gastroenterologist at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study.

Needle biopsy, which is the standard practice for evaluating liver fibrosis, is not only expensive and risky to the patient, it is often scary to children. MRE could be a less costly and less invasive option to detect fibrosis.

This study was originally published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  You can read more on ScienceDaily.

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