Using this examination, liver diseases can be diagnosed. There are cases where the examination will be performed to ascertain previous findings that have emerged in imaging examinations such as CT or ultrasound.
In which cases should a liver MRI examination be performed?
Monitoring advanced liver diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver.
In cases of suspicion of a liver tumor.
Follow-up while treating viral hepatitis (type B or C).
Assessing liver function when there is suspicion of injury.
How should one prepare for a liver MRI?
Fasting – It is important to check for the requirements of the institution where the examination will be performed, prior to the examination. Some institutions instruct to fast a few hours prior to the examination, while others do not instruct to do so.
Clothing – Do not wear clothes with metal parts, and any metal jewelry found on the body should be removed, along with hair pins and keys.
Metals in the body – The medical staff should be informed of metals found in the body, in cases such as a pacemaker, stent that was implanted during catheterization, artificial joint, surgical clip, insulin pump, shrapnel or cochlear implant. Most of these implants do not contain magnetic metals, and therefore will not prevent the performance of the examination, but the medical team must be informed of each of the implants listed above prior to the examination.
Claustrophobia – Patients who are afraid of a confined spaces may use tranquillizers about an hour prior to the examination, in consultation with a doctor.
Contrast agents – Occasionally, this examination uses the contrast agent gadolinium. It is a metal contrast agent with magnetic properties that enables a more efficient demonstration of blood vessels and increases the quality of the scan. In contrast to iodine-based contrast agents, gadolinium hardly causes any allergic reactions or side effects. In cases of advanced kidney failure, the use of a contrast agent should be avoided.
Pregnancy – Women who may be pregnant are asked to notify their doctor or examination technician.