Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the liver: parametric assessments beyond morphology.
There is growing interest in exploring and using functional imaging techniques to provide additional information on structural alterations in the liver, which often occur late in the disease process. This article presents a summary of the different functional MR imaging techniques currently in use, focusing on dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging, diffusion-weighted MR imaging, MR spectroscopy, in- and oppose-phase MR imaging, and T2*-weighted imaging. For each technique, the biologic underpinning for the technique is explained, the clinical applications surveyed, and the challenges for their application enumerated. Developing and less frequently used techniques such as MR elastography, blood oxygenation level dependent imaging, dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced MR imaging, and diffusion-tensor imaging are reviewed. The challenges widespread adoption of functional MR imaging and the translation of such techniques to high field strengths are also discussed.
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