Magnetic resonance imaging of the liver: Review of techniques and approach to common diseases

Diego R. Martin, Richard C. Semelka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


MR imaging examination of the liver should use a combination of single-shot T2W and breath-hold T1W images, and include gadolinium enhancement with acquisition of multiple phases. MR provides superior characterization of liver masses than CT, and multi-phase gadolinium enhancement including a properly timed arterial phase is critical. The T1 weighted pre-contrast images must include in-phase/out-of-phase acquisitions, to assess hepatic lipid and or iron content, and dynamically enhanced post-gadolinium images. Timing of the arterial phase images is also critical for demonstration of acute hepatitis. The timing of the venous and equilibrium phase images are less critical, and are important for grading more severe acute hepatitis, demonstration of fibrosis, and for delineating vascular abnormalities. In cirrhosis, dynamic post-gadolinium images are critical for detection and characterization of regenerative or dysplastic nodules, and HCC. The same sequences useful for liver evaluation provide a comprehensive evaluation of all the soft tissues of the abdomen, and allow depiction of most of the important diseases, thus facilitating use of a universal protocol for abdominal imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-131
Number of pages16
JournalSeminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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