Technical Validation of MR Biomarkers of Obesity-Associated NAFLD (NAFLD)

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  • sponsor
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
Updated on 28 April 2022
liver disease
fatty liver
bariatric surgery
magnetic resonance elastography
Accepts healthy volunteers


The overall goal of this collaborative research program is to develop, validate and translate advanced quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) biomarkers of obesity-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This protocol represents the research plan for two distinct phases. The first phase is an optimization phase. The second phase is designed to complete a rigorous test of conventional and advanced MRE techniques. Complementary anthropometric, laboratory, and MR measures will also be collected to characterize the cohort and identify factors that affect MRE performance


The long-term objective of this research is to improve the health of the millions of Americans with or at risk for NAFLD, the most common chronic liver disease and most rapidly growing indication for liver transplantation in the United States. To achieve this objective, an advanced MR-based imaging method will be used to measure liver "stiffness" which is an early sign of disease. This technique has been previously developed and validated and ready to be used for further research. This current protocol will extend previous work by optimizing and validating advanced 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional-magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) methods as non-invasive biomarkers of hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in obese patients at risk for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the histologically more aggressive subset of NAFLD.

Per Amendment approved 4/8/22: MRE exams will be conducted using a PDFF Pocket Phantom purchased by the UCSD from Calimetrix. This phantom consists of vials with known fat fraction which are captured when taking images of the liver. The known fat fractions provide an independent reference and are used for quality assurance purposes.

Condition Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis
Treatment Liver biopsy, Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03674528
SponsorUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Last Modified on28 April 2022


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