Basic diagnosis of liver disease. In many cases, fatty liver disease is suspected after blood tests show elevated liver enzymes. For example, your doctor may order the alanine aminotransferase test (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase test (AST) to check your liver enzymes. This may support the clinical suspicion of the disease but gives no insight into the severity of the disease and its progression.
Being overweight, or having type II diabetes are also common risk factor for liver disease. You may not be overweight but drink too frequently and this can also cause liver disease.
Ultrasound is sometimes used to detect liver disease but studies have shown that this is not always reliable. A regular MRI or CT scan can provide more information, but again, is limited in accuracy.
In some cases, your doctor would order a liver biopsy to obtain a sample of your liver for analysis. This is invasive and usually painful and not a desirable procedure, as it is not always accurate due to the random liver sampling which may miss the exact area of concern in your liver.
This is where advanced liver imaging using MRI comes in.
Partners Imaging Centers has invested substantial capital to acquire the latest state-of the-art hardware and software to provide a reliable liver imaging diagnosis. Partners has been using advanced liver imaging procedures since 2016 in multiple research environments to assist pharmaceutical companies develop drugs to help cure liver disease, particularly NASH.
These advanced liver imaging procedures have since become FDA cleared allowing them to be offered to the public.
Here is the Partners Imaging Centers advanced MRI liver diagnosis workup:
- An MRI of the abdomen on a 3T MRI (a stronger than normal strength MRI)
- A LiverMultiscan MRI protocol
- A liver elastography (MRE) imaging procedure
- A liver report from a highly experienced onsite radiologist.
The first three items listed are all performed on our Siemens wide-bore 3T MRI. The table time in the MRI is approx 35 to 45 minutes.
This Partners liver workup can be ordered via your physician using the following script that should be presented for signature and then faxed by the physician to our office. Click here to download the script. We can also accept your physician’s script that requests the Partners Advanced Liver Imaging workup. Patients are also welcome to pay for the entire workup out of pocket (or for the reason of a second opinion). In this event, please call our office to discuss your symptoms and we can make an arrangement for you.
This exam is partially covered by most health insurances but a modest out of pocket contribution will be required (as low as $250 in some cases).
Please call Partners Imaging Centers at (941) 951-2100 to obtain the cost for the liver imaging workup based on your insurance status or if you desire to pay out of pocket for the entire workup.
Clearly, the recommendation is that any diagnosis other than ‘no disease present’ should be reviewed with your physician or one that specializes in liver disease. Partners can provide both yourself and your physician with the full results of the workup including detailed color imaging of your liver.
The report will also compare your results to those of a healthy liver patient. Click here to see an example of the LiverMultiscan report which is one element of the workup.