Scott Reeder, MD, PhD and Diego Hernando, PhD were awarded a $100,000, 1-year WARF Accelerator Grant for their project titled, “Non-invasive Quantification of Liver Iron Overload with MRI for Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring.”
This proposal will develop and validate magnetic resonance (MR) based R2* relaxometry as a biomarker of hepatic iron content (HIC). Unlike R2 based methods which are time consuming and expensive, R2*-based methods are very rapid providing high resolution R2* maps over the entire liver in a single breath-hold. However, current R2* methods are inherently limited in their accuracy and robustness, due to the presence of two key confounding factors: 1) liver fat, and 2) inhomogeneous magnetic fields (susceptibility). In this work Reeder and Hernando will develop and validate a method that provides fat- and susceptibility-corrected R2* measurements that are protocol and platform independent, to provide a robust, accurate and precise estimate of liver iron concentration. Their study will involve 50 subjects with the goal of generating a fundamental calibration curve using R2* to estimate HIC. Future applications of this work should reduce costs for estimating HIC and should shorten procedure times for patients.