Fat and iron quantification in the liver: past, present, and future.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Liver fat, iron, and combined overload are common manifestations of diffuse liver disease and may cause lipotoxicity and iron toxicity via oxidative hepatocellular injury, leading to progressive fibrosis, cirrhosis, and eventually, liver failure. Intracellular fat and iron cause characteristic changes in the tissue magnetic properties in predictable dose-dependent manners. Using dedicated magnetic resonance pulse sequences and postprocessing algorithms, fat and iron can be objectively quantified on a continuous scale. In this article, we will describe the basic physical principles of magnetic resonance fat and iron quantification and review the imaging techniques of the "past, present, and future." Standardized radiological metrics of fat and iron are introduced for numerical reporting of overload severity, which can be used toward objective diagnosis, grading, and longitudinal disease monitoring. These noninvasive imaging techniques serve an alternative or complimentary role to invasive liver biopsy. Commercial solutions are increasingly available, and liver fat and iron quantitative imaging is now within reach for routine clinical use and may soon become standard of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-94
Number of pages22
JournalTopics in magnetic resonance imaging : TMRI
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Fat and iron quantification in the liver: past, present, and future.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this