In vivo and ex vivo measurements: noninvasive assessment of alcoholic fatty liver using 1H-MR spectroscopy

PURPOSE We aimed to evaluate the ability of 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to detect and quantify hepatic fat content in vivo and ex vivo in an experimental rat model of alcoholic fatty liver using histopathology, biochemistry, and laboratory analyses as reference.METHODSAlcoholic fatty liver was induced within 48 hours in 20 Lewis rats; 10 rats served as control. In-trahepatic fat content determined by 1H-MRS was expressed as the percent ratio of the lipid and water peaks and was correlated with intrahepatic fat content determined histologically and biochemically. Liver enzymes were measured in serum.RESULTSFatty liver could be detected in vivo as well as ex vivo using 1H-MRS, in all 20 animals. Histologic analysis showed a fatty liver in 16 of 20 animals. Histology and 1H-MRS results were highly cor-related (in vivo, r=0.93, P = 0.0005; ex vivo, r=0.92, P = 0.0006). Also a strong correlation was noted between in vivo 1H-MRS measurements and the fat content determined biochemically (r=0.96, P = 0.0003). Ex vivo results showed a similarly strong correlation between 1H-MRS and biochem-istry (r=0.89, P = 0.0011).CONCLUSION1H-MRS can be carried out in ex vivo models, as well as in vivo, to detect and quantify intrahepatic fat content in the acute fatty liver.

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