Magnetic resonance elastography in a rabbit model of liver fibrosis: A 3-T longitudinal validation for clinical translation

Liqiu Zou, Jinzhao Jiang, Wenxin Zhong, Chunrong Wang, Wei Xing*, Zhuoli Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine the relationships between magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) imaging biomarkers and the stages of liver fibrosis in a rabbit model of liver fibrosis, a longitudinal validation for clinical translation. Liver fibrosis was induced in 38 male New Zealand rabbits by weekly subcutaneous injections of 0.1 ml 50% carbon tetrachloride oily solution per kilogram of body weight for 4 to 10 weeks to produced varying degrees of liver fibrosis. The values for the liver stiffness (LS) MRE imaging biomarkers were measured at different stages of liver fibrosis. Masson trichrome staining of liver tissue was used to identify collagen tissue. Among the 38 rabbits, the histological studies showed liver fibrosis stage 1 (F1, n = 11), liver fibrosis stage 2 (F2, n = 8), liver fibrosis stage 3 (F3, n = 7), and liver fibrosis stage 4 (F4, liver cirrhosis, n = 12). Additional healthy rabbits served as controls (F0, n = 15). During liver fibrosis progression, the mean LS values increased during liver fibrosis progression. There were significant differences in LS values between (F0 and F1) and (F2 and F3), (F2 and F3) and (F4), and (F0 and F1) and (F4), which are three clinically relevant fibrosis groups. There was a high correlation between the LS values measured by MRE and the stages of liver fibrosis determined by histology (R2= 0.67, P < 0.001). MRE imaging has the potential to serve as a noninvasive, unenhanced imaging technique for liver fibrosis diagnosis and staging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberAJTR0037674
Pages (from-to)4922-4931
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Translational Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Diagnosis
  • Imaging biomarker
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Magnetic resonance elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research

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