Lan Lu1, Jacob M. Haus2, John P. Kirwan2, Chris A. Flask1,3
1Department of Radiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States; 2Department of Pathobiology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, United States; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States
Recent studies suggest diffusion-weighted (DWI) and diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) as a promising tool in studying hepatic diseases including hepatitis and cirrhosis. Similarly, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) progresses from fatty liver (steatosis) to fibrosis (steatohepatitis), but diffusion MRI studies on NAFLD subjects are limited. In this study, we used DTI to investigate the diffusion parameters in obese, insulin resistant adults with fatty liver in comparison with healthy volunteers. Our results demonstrate diffusional changes indicative of hepatic adipocyte accumulation and not fibrosis. Therefore, hepatic lipids can complicate the utility of DWI/DTI in the study hepatic fibrosis associated with NAFLD/NASH.