Magnetic Resonance Elastography

Procedure Locations

What is Magnetic Resonance Elastography ?

What is a Magnetic Resonance (MR) Elastography?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a noninvasive test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of the body. MR Elastography is a type of MRI that determines the stiffness (elasticity) of the liver by capturing the movements of the tissue. Slower movements may mean an increase in stiffness—a common sign of liver fibrosis and other liver disease. By using Elastography, your physician may be able to address these conditions early, and potentially eliminate the need for a liver biopsy.

FAQ icon

Why would my physician recommend an MR Elastography?

Your physician may recommend an MR Elastography if you currently have any signs of liver disease or if you are at a higher risk of contracting liver disease.

FAQ icon

What are the benefits of an MR Elastography?

There are many benefits of having an MR Elastography including:

  • Potentially avoiding painful and expensive liver biopsies.
  • A more accurate cross-section of the condition of the entire liver, rather than just a small sampling from a liver biopsy.
  • A less invasive and safer alternative to liver biopsy.
  • The ability to receive an early diagnosis for Hepatitis C, and earlier treatment, resulting in a better chance to treat this chronic infection.
FAQ icon

What should I expect during an MR Elastography?

During the procedure, you will lie flat on an exam table. A small drum-like device is placed on top of you, close to your liver. The drum is connected to a speaker that is located in an adjoining room. The speaker is turned on by the Technologist and its vibrations are transferred to the drum. Images are captured of the liver as these vibrations pass over it to measure its movements. These images are turned into a color-coded map of your liver called an "Elastograms." Different colors represent areas of soft, healthy tissue or stiffened tissue that may indicate early fibrosis.

FAQ icon

Is MR Elastography painful?

MRI exams are painless. The part that may be uncomfortable is remaining still during the imaging portion of the exam. If you suffer from claustrophobia, talk to your physician to see if medication may be prescribed. 

FAQ icon

What should I expect after an MR Elastography?

When the MRI is complete, you may be asked to wait until the Radiologist checks the images to ensure no additional images are needed. Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal activity level. Our Radiologist will interpret your study and send the final report to your physician.

FAQ icon

How do I schedule an MR Elastography with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

FAQ icon

When are appointments offered for an MR Elastography?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends at our Fairfax MRI Center. Learn more about this location.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?