Abbreviated mpMRI protocol for diffuse liver disease: a practical approach for evaluation and follow-up of NAFLD

  • Guilherme Moura Cunha
  • Cristiane A. Villela-Nogueira
  • Anke Bergman
  • Flavia Paiva Proença Lobo Lopes



Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) may help determine the metabolic profile of patients with obesity and metabolic syndrome in addition to their clinical and laboratory biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring. An abbreviated mpMRI protocol may be a faster, less-costly, and easier to perform alternative for the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of patients with NAFLD and for use in clinical trials.


To evaluate an abbreviated mpMRI protocol tailored to analyze quantitative imaging features of patients with obesity and NAFLD and assess its use during treatment.


This prospective study included patients with obesity and NAFLD to perform a quantitative analysis of liver fat and iron content, stiffness, as well as the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) during the course of a physical exercise-based treatment regimen.


Longitudinal improvements in imaging features were observed in patients with good response to treatment, in accordance with improvements in biochemical and anthropometric biomarkers.


An abbreviated mpMRI protocol consisting of liver fat and iron quantification, MR elastography, and VAT measurements is a feasible, less-costly, and accessible option for screening and monitoring of patients with obesity, NAFLD, and metabolic syndrome.


Liver Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Visceral adipose tissue mpMRI Quantitative imaging Magnetic resonance elastography 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was done without any external funding. All data were prospectively collected from patients who underwent clinically indicated MRI at our institution and authors received no funding regarding their work in this manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

All authors involved in this work declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guilherme Moura Cunha
    • 1
  • Cristiane A. Villela-Nogueira
    • 2
  • Anke Bergman
    • 3
  • Flavia Paiva Proença Lobo Lopes
    • 1
  1. 1.Clínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem – CDPI/DASARio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Faculdade de Medicina, Departamento de Clínica Médica, Serviço de HepatologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio De JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCA)Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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