Scott B. Reeder, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Cardiovascular Imaging, and Oliver Wieben, Ph.D., of the Cardiovascular and Imaging Sciences sections, are named Co-Principal Investigators on a $985,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study blood flow to the liver in patients with portal hypertension. Portal hypertension is the most common and most lethal complication of chronic liver disease, and it is often responsible for preventing blood flow to the liver. Currently, there are no adequate methods to measure blood flow to the liver due to a number of technical complications.
This study seeks to rectify the lack of imaging techniques by developing a velocity-sensitive 4D flow MRI method that will, simultaneously, image vascular anatomy, and quantify blood flow within the vascular areas of the liver. If this technique is successful, it would provide a more accurate tool for predicting further complications from portal hypertension in chronic liver disease. The technique would also allow physicians to identify biomarkers to evaluate the blood flow to the liver in a non-invasive way.