Quantitative multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging can aid non-alcoholic steatohepatitis diagnosis in a Japanese cohort

Kento Imajo, Louise Tetlow, Andrea M Dennis, Elizabeth Shumbayawonda, Sofia Mouchti, Timothy J. Kendall, Eve Fryer, Shogi Yamanaka, Yasushi Honda, Takaomi Kessoku, Yuji Ogawa, Masato Yoneda, Satoru Saito, Catherine Kelly, Matt D Kelly, Rajarshi Banerjee, Atsushi Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Non-invasive assessment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is increasing in desirability due to the invasive nature and costs associated with the current form of assessment; liver biopsy. Quantitative multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) to measure liver fat (proton density fat fraction) and fibroinflammatory disease [iron-corrected T1 (cT1)], as well as elastography techniques [vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE) liver stiffness measure], magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and 2D Shear-Wave elastography (SWE) to measure stiffness and fat (controlled attenuated parameter) are emerging alternatives which could be utilised as a safe surrogate to liver biopsy.

To evaluate the agreement of non-invasive imaging modalities with liver biopsy, and their subsequent diagnostic accuracy for identifying NASH patients.

From January 2019 to February 2020, Japanese patients suspected of NASH were recruited onto a prospective, observational study and were screened using non-invasive imaging techniques; mpMRI with LiverMultiScan®, VCTE, MRE and 2D-SWE. Patients were subsequently biopsied, and samples were scored by three independent pathologists. The diagnostic performances of the non-invasive imaging modalities were assessed using area under receiver operating characteristic (AUC) with the median of the histology scores. Concordance between all three independent pathologists was further explored using Krippendorff’s alpha (a) from weighted kappa statistics.

N = 145 patients with mean age of 60 (SD: 13 years.), 39% females, and 40% with body mass index ≥ 30 kg.m-2 were included in the analysis. For identifying patients with NASH, MR liver fat and cT1 were the strongest performing individual measures (AUC: 0.80 and 0.74 respectively), and the combined mpMRI metrics (cT1 and MR liver fat) were the overall best non-invasive (AUC: 0.83). For identifying fibrosis ≥ 1, MRE performed best (AUC: 0.97), compared to VCTE-LSM (AUC: 0.94) and 2D-SWE (AUC: 0.94). For assessment of steatosis ≥ 1, MR liver fat was the best performing non-invasive (AUC: 0.92), compared to controlled attenuated parameter (AUC: 0.75). Assessment of the agreement between pathologists showed that concordance was best for steatosis (a = 0.58), moderate for ballooning (a = 0.40) and fibrosis (a = 0.40), and worst for lobular inflammation (a = 0.12).

Quantitative mpMRI is an effective alternative to liver biopsy for diagnosing NASH and non-alcoholic fatty liver, and thus may offer clinical utility in patient management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-623
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2021


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