Validation of water-fat MRI and proton MRS in assessment of hepatic fat and the heterogeneous distribution of hepatic fat and iron in subjects with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Publication in refereed journal


Research studies demonstrated pathologic lesions were unevenly distributed in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. As hepatic steatosis occurs prior to steatohepatitis and other late stage liver conditions, the distribution pattern of hepatic fat and iron concentration should be investigated to prevent sampling variability. The first purpose of this study was to perform comparison and validation of in-house hepatic fat measurements using water-fat MRI and MRS. The second objective was to quantify hepatic fat-fraction and T2* values in left and right liver lobes using water-fat MRI.

Fifty-four non-alcoholic adults (27 NAFLD, age: 42.8 ± 11.8), 27 non-NAFLD, age: 45.5 ± 11.2) and 46 non-alcoholic teenagers (23 NAFLD (age: 15.4 ± 2.6), 23 non-NAFLD (age: 13.9 ± 2.3) were recruited. All participants underwent chemical shift water-fat MRI and 1H MRS at 3 T. Hepatic steatosis was defined by intrahepatic triglyceride more than the threshold of 5.56% using MRS (clinical reference) and non-alcoholic was defined by alcohol ingestion of no more than 30 g and 20 g per day for male and female respectively. Hepatic fat-fractions in left and right liver lobes were measured using regions-of-interest (ROIs) approach. Three ROIs were drawn on the fat-fraction images and duplicated on to the co-registered T2* images at the inferior right, superior right and superior left liver lobes. Comparison and validation of water-fat MRI and MRS were performed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman plot. Hepatic fat-fraction and T2* measured from the ROIs were compared using repeated measures ANOVA. Independent t-test was used for between groups analysis.

Statistical analysis indicated good correlation (R = 0.987) and agreement (ICC = 0.982) between MRS and water-fat MRI in hepatic fat measurements. Results indicated that hepatic fat was significantly higher in the right lobe compared to the left in NAFLD adults (p < 0.001) and NAFLD teenagers (p < 0.001). For T2*, significant difference between left and right lobes was observed in NAFLD adults (p < 0.001) and non-NAFLD adults (p < 0.001) but not in teenagers.

Hepatic fat measurements using MRS and water-fat MRI are statistically equivalent. In subjects with NAFLD regardless of their age, hepatic fat is stored preferentially in the right live lobe probably due to the streamline of blood flow to the right liver. T2* value is significantly higher in the right liver lobe in adults but not in the teenagers regardless of their hepatic fat contents probably due to the longer time span of hepatic iron accumulation.
著者Hui SCN, So HK, Chan DFY, Wong SKH, Yeung DKW, Ng EKW, Chu WCW
期刊名稱European Journal of Radiology
頁次7 - 13
關鍵詞Hepatic fat, T2*, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Magnetic resonance imaging

上次更新時間 2020-02-08 於 02:35