Diffuse liver disease, including all causes of chronic liver disease, affects tens of millions of people worldwide. There is a growing need for diagnostic evaluation as treatments become more readily available, particularly for viral liver disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides unique capabilities for noninvasive characterization of liver tissue that rival or surpass the diagnostic utility of liver biopsies. There has been incremental improvement in the use of standardized MRI sequences, acquired before and after administration of contrast for the evaluation of diffuse liver disease, and this includes study of the liver parenchyma and blood supply. More recent developments have led to methods for quantifying important liver metabolites, including fat and iron, and liver fibrosis, which is the hallmark for chronic liver disease. In this study, we review the MRI techniques and diagnostic features associated with common and uncommon etiologies of diffuse liver diseases, including processes that lead to abnormal perfusion (e.g. Budd-Chiari syndrome, congestive hepatomegaly), deposition diseases (e.g. fatty liver, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease), and abnormalities that are related to inflammation and fibrosis (e.g. primary sclerosing cholangitis, sarcoidosis).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine