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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.
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.
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.
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.