HepaFat for Clinicians
Why Use HepaFat to Measure Liver Fat
MRI is the safest and most accurate method for non-invasively measuring liver fat. Histopathological assessment from a liver biopsy is commonly considered the gold standard for clinical assessment of liver fat. However, it is subjective, has a poor reproducibility and significant sampling error and suffers from the risks associated with an invasive procedure. Ultrasound, while widely available, has poor sensitivity to discriminate between mild and high levels of steatosis, and is additionally hampered by factors such as obesity, fibrosis, edema and extrahepatic adipose tissue. CT is also a widely available, but its reliance on ionising radiation means it is unsuitable for children and for longitudinal monitoring of adults. CT has low sensitivity for mild-moderate steatosis and attenuation can be affected by sources unrelated to fat (iron, copper, glycogen, fibrosis, edema).
MR techniques like HepaFat are widely accepted as superior compared to ultrasound and CT and are now considered the leaders in the quantitative assessment of fat. HepaFat is one of the few MR techniques to be independently validated against biopsy and has very high sensitivity and specificity at all clinical thresholds. HepaFat-AI and HepaFat-Scan is vendor agnostic and is used in conjunction with a specific MRI data acquisition protocol that is a variation of the three point Dixon Method. Image data acquisition for a HepaFat takes a single breath hold and no contrast agents are required.