Courtesy of Dr Jonathan Fallowfield, this image shows LiverMultiscan MRI axial T1 relaxation maps of liver in the same patient before [left] and 4 weeks after [right] treatment of portal hypertension with non-selective beta-blockers (NSBBs). Top row shows representative image of liver T1 relaxation map from a single patient; position of 3 regions of interest is indicated by white circles. Bottom row shows corresponding segmented liver histograms and T1 colour scales. Numbers below each histogram represent the mode T1.

Non-invasive biomarkers are urgently needed for diagnosis, monitoring and evaluating treatment response in patients with portal hypertension (a condition which underlies most of the lethal complications of liver cirrhosis such as variceal bleeding). The image is taken from a recent study published in BioMed Research International, reporting the first use of quantitative MRI markers (phase-contrast MR angiography and T1 mapping) for the haemodynamic assessment of NSBBs in portal hypertension in a small randomized feasibility study:

McDonald N, Lilburn DML, Lachlan NJ, Macnaught G, Patel D, Jayaswal ANA, Hayes PC, Semple SI, Fallowfield JA. Assessment of Haemodynamic Response to Nonselective Beta-Blockers in Portal Hypertension by Phase-Contrast Magnetic Resonance Angiography. BioMed Research International, 2017, 9281450.