Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the liver and biliary tract is an examination that is carried out simultaneously, since the liver consists of seven sections, which have a diet separate from the circulatory system, and bile ducts combine them.
Indications for liver MRI
MRI is a study that allows you to recognize and identify a variety of diseases. More often, an MRI diagnosis of the liver and biliary tract is prescribed in order to refute or confirm the diagnosis made by the doctor.
The study allows you to determine the following diseases: hemangiomas, angiomas, sarcomas, cholecystitis, the initial stage of cirrhosis, hepatitis, oncology in the liver. Modern medicine is actively using MRI diagnostics to determine at the early stages of foci of a particular disease in order to start therapeutic therapy in a timely manner. Often to contrast neoplasms or tumors resort to contrast.
Preparation and diagnosis with a tomograph
To conduct magnetic resonance imaging, the body must be specially prepared. There is no need to go to the hospital for the preparatory moment, because all the procedures can be safely carried out at home. Particularly preparatory points are important for diagnosis using a contrast medium.
For a more informative study, the patient needs to give up carbohydrate food three days before the procedure, exclude gas-forming foods from the diet one day, eight hours to give up water and other liquids, five hours before the test to refuse food. Failure to comply with these rules will result in inaccurate diagnostic results, as a result of which the doctor will prescribe incorrect and ineffective treatment, time will be lost, the disease will turn into a more complex and sometimes non-medical form. You need to have a referral, results of ultrasound, CT, X-ray data, analyzes of the condition of the kidneys and studies of the cardiovascular system with you.
The procedure is carried out within one hour. Most often, an additional contrast agent and antispasmodic are introduced into the blood. During the MRI, the patient should lie still, if this is problematic, they may resort to anesthesia (especially for children under 10 years old). The diagnosis after the procedure will explain to the patient the next steps:
- you can drink only after an hour (but plentifully, in order to remove the contrast from the body);
- food is introduced gradually, at least two hours later, and only light food.
What is contrast for?
A contrast agent that is used to conduct an MRI scan is completely safe for the human body. By introducing contrast into the blood before an MRI of the liver, it is possible to identify: the presence of narrowing of the pancreas and ducts of the biliary tract; the presence of neoplasms, polyps and stones; causes of obstructive jaundice; condition of the biliary tract and bladder.
Contrasting substance, getting into the vessels, carries out the process of staining them. The stronger the blood flow - the stronger the staining, therefore, the diagnosis will be more informative.
Contraindications for MRI
MRI of the liver and biliary tract has a number of contraindications, including: recent eye injury; insulin pumps; the presence of neurostimulants and pacemakers; embedded large metal implants; hemostatic clips built into the brain; the presence of ferromagnetic and electronic implants of the middle and internal position.
Among the relative indications, it is worth noting: the presence of claustrophobia; pregnancy, especially in the first three months; the presence of severe pain that interferes with lying still for one hour; the need for physiological continuous monitoring; the presence of prosthetic heart valves.
To undergo the procedure, titanium, which is often used recently in medicine, is completely safe. Also, the study will not interfere with the period of breastfeeding, the period of menstruation, the presence of intrauterine devices. A large percentage of medical devices and devices introduced into the body for medical reasons interact well with MRI.
It is important, before starting the procedure, tell the diagnostician about the presence of foreign bodies in the body, because only the doctor can tell with accuracy whether you can undergo a study, or it is recommended to choose another alternative method.
Alternative methods for diagnosing the condition of the liver
MRI of the liver and biliary tract is the most accurate, safe and effective diagnosis, but it has a fairly high cost and not all patients can afford. In this case, the doctor may suggest alternative research methods, such as CT.
CT, like MRI, can show the presence or absence of liver diseases, but its cost is an order of magnitude lower. The pricing policy is determined by the fact that the equipment for computed tomography costs less than the equipment for magnetic resonance imaging. But it is important to understand that during the CT scan, the patient is irradiated with X-rays, therefore, it cannot be called safe for the body.
Often, studies need to be carried out after a short period of time repeatedly, and in this case, diagnosis by computed tomography is no longer suitable. All doctors recommend, despite the cost, to undergo a safer and more reliable diagnosis through the use of magnetic resonance equipment.
Where is the procedure
MRI diagnostics of the liver and biliary tract can be performed in regional clinics with the availability of appropriate equipment, as well as in large special diagnostic centers. The study is carried out if there is a direction from the attending physician, and the procedure is allowed only at the request of the patient (subject to preliminary studies).