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Keywords:

  • 1H-MRS;
  • hepatic lipid composition;
  • hepatic lipid profiling;
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD);
  • steatohepatitis

The applicability of the in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy hepatic lipid profiling (MR-HLP) technique in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was investigated. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the relative fractions of diunsaturated (fdi), monounsaturated (fmono), and saturated (fsat) fatty acids as well as total hepatic lipid content were estimated in the livers of 8 control and 23 CCl4-treated rats at 9.4 T. The mean steatosis, necrosis, inflammation, and fibrosis scores of the treated group were all significantly higher than those of the control group (P < 0.01). There was a strong correlation between the histopathologic parameters and the MR-HLP parameters (r = 0.775, P < 0.01) where both steatosis and fibrosis are positively correlated with fmono and negatively correlated with fdi. Both necrosis and inflammation, however, were not correlated with any of the MR-HLP parameters. Hepatic lipid composition appears to be changed in association with the severity of steatosis and fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and these changes can be depicted in vivo by using the MR-HLP method at 9.4 T. Thus, while it may not likely be that MR-HLP helps differentiate between steatohepatitis in its early stages and simple steatosis, these findings altogether are in support of potential applicability of in vivo MR-HLP at high field in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Magn Reson Med 70:620–629, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.