Liver fibrosis is a common feature of many chronic liver diseases, and can ultimately progress to cirrhosis. Conventional imaging is insensitive to liver fibrosis, necessitating a liver biopsy for diagnosis and monitoring of progression. However, liver biopsy risks complications, and is an imperfect gold standard in view of sampling error and intraobserver or interobserver variation. Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive method for assessing the mechanical properties of tissues and is gaining credence as a method of assessment for hepatic fibrosis. The aim of this review is to describe how MRE is performed, to review the present literature on the subject, to compare MRE with other noninvasive techniques used to assess for liver fibrosis, and to highlight areas of future research.
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