Reference range of liver corrected T1 values in a population at low risk for fatty liver disease-a UK Biobank sub-study, with an appendix of interesting cases.
Mojtahed A., Kelly CJ., Herlihy AH., Kin S., Wilman HR., McKay A., Kelly M., Milanesi M., Neubauer S., Thomas EL., Bell JD., Banerjee R., Harisinghani M.
PURPOSE: Corrected T1 (cT1) value is a novel MRI-based quantitative metric for assessing a composite of liver inflammation and fibrosis. It has been shown to distinguish between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, these studies were conducted in patients at high risk for liver disease. This study establishes the normal reference range of cT1 values for a large UK population, and assesses interactions of age and gender. METHODS: MR data were acquired on a 1.5 T system as part of the UK Biobank Imaging Enhancement study. Measures for Proton Density Fat Fraction and cT1 were calculated from the MRI data using a multiparametric MRI software application. Data that did not meet quality criteria were excluded from further analysis. Inter and intra-reader variability was estimated in a set of data. A cohort at low risk for NAFL was identified by excluding individuals with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and PDFF ≥ 5%. Of the 2816 participants with data of suitable quality, 1037 (37%) were classified as at low risk. RESULTS: The cT1 values in the low-risk population ranged from 573 to 852 ms with a median of 666 ms and interquartile range from 643 to 694 ms. Iron correction of T1 was necessary in 36.5% of this reference population. Age and gender had minimal effect on cT1 values. CONCLUSION: The majority of cT1 values are tightly clustered in a population at low risk for NAFL, suggesting it has the potential to serve as a new quantitative imaging biomarker for studies of liver health and disease.