MRI of the liver

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Authors: Rodrigo Castilhos; Mikael Häggström [notes 1]

MRI of Caroli disease (d).jpg


Choice of modality

For the liver, the initial imaging of choice is generally as follows:


Requires a phased array torso coil.

Basic screening

  • Morphology: verify size, borders and contours.
  • Liver parenchyma: Scan for steatosis, iron deposition
  • Focal lesions: Scan for nodules
  • Biliary ducts:
  • Hepatic veins
  • Portal vein

Search for extrahepatic findings

  • Lymph nodes in hepatic hilum.
  • Signs of portal hypertension: ascites, splenomegaly; portosystemic collateral vessels


LI-RADS (Liver Imaging and Reporting Data System) system should be used only if patient has a high risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B or current/prior HCC).

See also: General notes on reporting


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Radlines:Authorship for details.


  1. Procopet, Bogdan; Berzigotti, Annalisa (2017). "Diagnosis of cirrhosis and portal hypertension: imaging, non-invasive markers of fibrosis and liver biopsy ". Gastroenterology Report 5 (2): 79–89. doi:10.1093/gastro/gox012. ISSN 2052-0034. 
  2. Lincke, Therese; Zech, Christoph J. (2017). "Liver metastases: Detection and staging ". European Journal of Radiology 97: 76–82. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2017.10.016. ISSN 0720048X. 
  3. Maniam, Santhi (2010). "Magnetic resonance imaging: Review of imaging techniques and overview of liver imaging ". World Journal of Radiology 2 (8): 309. doi:10.4329/wjr.v2.i8.309. ISSN 1949-8470.