Prospective comparison of longitudinal change in hepatic proton density fat fraction (PDFF) estimated by magnitude-based MRI (MRI-M) and complex-based MRI (MRI-C).
PURPOSE: To compare longitudinal hepatic proton density fat fraction (PDFF) changes estimated by magnitude- vs. complex-based chemical-shift-encoded MRI during a weight loss surgery (WLS) program in severely obese adults with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective dual-center longitudinal study of 54 adults (44 women; mean age 52 years; range 27-70 years) with obesity, biopsy-proven NAFLD, and baseline PDFF ≥ 5%, enrolled in a WLS program. PDFF was estimated by confounder-corrected chemical-shift-encoded MRI using magnitude (MRI-M)- and complex (MRI-C)-based techniques at baseline (visit 1), after a 2- to 4-week very low-calorie diet (visit 2), and at 1, 3, and 6 months (visits 3 to 5) after surgery. At each visit, PDFF values estimated by MRI-M and MRI-C were compared by a paired t test. Rates of PDFF change estimated by MRI-M and MRI-C for visits 1 to 3, and for visits 3 to 5 were assessed by Bland-Altman analysis and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). RESULTS: MRI-M PDFF estimates were lower by 0.5-0.7% compared with those of MRI-C at all visits (p < 0.001). There was high agreement and no difference between PDFF change rates estimated by MRI-M vs. MRI-C for visits 1 to 3 (ICC 0.983, 95% CI 0.971, 0.99; bias = - 0.13%, p = 0.22), or visits 3 to 5 (ICC 0.956, 95% CI 0.919-0.977%; bias = 0.03%, p = 0.36). CONCLUSION: Although MRI-M underestimates PDFF compared with MRI-C cross-sectionally, this bias is consistent and MRI-M and MRI-C agree in estimating the rate of hepatic PDFF change longitudinally. KEY POINTS: • MRI-M demonstrates a significant but small and consistent bias (0.5-0.7%; p < 0.001) towards underestimation of PDFF compared with MRI-C at 3 T. • Rates of PDFF change estimated by MRI-M and MRI-C agree closely (ICC 0.96-0.98) in adults with severe obesity and biopsy- proven NAFLD enrolled in a weight loss surgery program. • Our findings support the use of either MRI technique (MRI-M or MRI-C) for clinical care or by individual sites or for multi-center trials that include PDFF change as an endpoint. However, since there is a bias in their measurements, the same technique should be used in any given patient for longitudinal follow-up.
Mamidipalli, A; Fowler, KJ; Hamilton, G; Wolfson, T; Covarrubias, Y; Tran, C; Fazeli, S; Wiens, CN; McMillan, A; Artz, NS; Funk, LM; Campos, GM; Greenberg, JA; Gamst, A; Middleton, MS; Schwimmer, JB; Reeder, SB; Sirlin, CB
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