Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers of NAFLD

Sonja Kinner, Scott B. Reeder, Takeshi Yokoo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Conventional imaging modalities, including ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR), play an important role in the diagnosis and management of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by allowing noninvasive diagnosis of hepatic steatosis. However, conventional imaging modalities are limited as biomarkers of NAFLD for various reasons. Multi-parametric quantitative MRI techniques overcome many of the shortcomings of conventional imaging and allow comprehensive and objective evaluation of NAFLD. MRI can provide unconfounded biomarkers of hepatic fat, iron, and fibrosis in a single examination—a virtual biopsy has become a clinical reality. In this article, we will review the utility and limitation of conventional US, CT, and MR imaging for the diagnosis NAFLD. Recent advances in imaging biomarkers of NAFLD are also discussed with an emphasis in multi-parametric quantitative MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1347
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Imaging biomarker
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Proton density fat fraction
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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