Which Scan For Liver Is The Best?
Hi. If you are keen to learn and understand which scan for the liver is the best, this note can help you. Here, you can find the four different scans doctors prefer for screening liver diseases. Yes. You can discover why and when diagnostic modalities, such as Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound (US), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans, serve best!
Overview: Which Scan For Liver Is The Best?
We all know that liver diseases are very common in today’s world. In India, one out of five people gets affected by liver problems. And the main reason is the modern lifestyle! With excess alcohol consumption, the craze for fried and frozen foods, obesity, frequent over-the-counter medication intake, and unprotected sex, liver diseases are bound to show up!
That is where painless and non-invasive imaging studies like CT, Ultrasound, MRI, and PET scans come to the rescue. Your doctors can screen a liver disease at its early stage and start your treatment early by availing themselves of these scans.
However, not all scan holds equal accuracy for diagnosing all liver disease, and your doctors recommend the one that suits best for a definite condition. They prescribe an imaging study based on your primary physical examination and identified health symptoms. Also, not all scans lay applicable to all patients!
CT Scan For Liver Disease: The Most Common Test!
A CT scan is the most plausible pick for doctors to screen for liver conditions. This scan is quick and easily available. The scan uses a series of X-ray beams to curate liver images accurately from various angles. It is a crucial study during emergency cases, like traumatic liver injury or bleeding.
Doctors recommend a CT scan to picture jaundice and differentiate between an obstructive and non-obstructive one! In the case of the former, a CT can reveal if the obstruction causing jaundice is lithiasis. Your doctor may even order a CT to screen pus or fluid buildup in your liver or other structural changes like fatty deposits or scarring.
A CT scan can show liver hardening, cysts, tumors, and additional lesions. It can detect and evaluate hepatic metastases, i.e., cancer originating and spreading to the liver from another body part. Many studies note that a CT is superior in this regard. It holds nearly 90% sensitivity and 99% specificity.
But, CT scans do bring a few setbacks. The radiation involvement can be risky for Many, typically pregnant women and children. It can cause side effects and furthermore deadly conditions like cancer relapse. That is when doctors recommend another imaging test, most likely an ultrasound!
Abdominal Ultrasound: Your Doctor’s Safety Choice!
Doctors prefer ultrasound because it is way safer than a CT scan, even though not always as accurate as a CT. Ultrasound imaging utilizes sound waves to visualize your abdominal organs, including liver anatomy, and locate a structural abnormality. It can create cross-sectional images of your liver and help trace the disease’s location and extent.
An ultrasound can detect myriads of conditions, from scarring to additional masses and fat deposits to a liver getting hard. Your doctor may sometimes consider it a primary test and sometimes a secondary to a blood test where the reports show the high presence of liver enzymes.
As per some medical research, an ultrasound is 80% specific in detecting lesions less than 3 centimeters. Studies also highlight that ultrasound is 94.1% sensitive in screening Haemangioma, a lump traveling through the blood vessels that transport blood to your liver. No doubt, an ultrasound is efficient in detecting blood vessel malformations.
Often, your doctor recommends an ultrasound to diagnose pregnancy-related liver diseases. For instance, an ultrasound can show liver dysfunction due to pregnancy (called pre-eclampsia in medical terms). It can also detect a blocked bile flow during pregnancy. Besides, an ultrasound is an effective modality to diagnose alcoholic liver diseases.
MRI Scan For Liver Diseases: The Most Significant Techniques To Screen Complex Liver Disease!
At Times when CT or ultrasound reports provide ambiguous results, your doctor may recommend a second test, MRI. An MRI is a safe test where magnets help screen your liver tissues accurately. MRI is a top pick for doctors when discussing which scan for the liver serves best in diagnosing liver cancer.
Your doctor can use the MRI technique to plan and regulate a biopsy to collect cancerous cells. But some of the latest research affirms that an MRI shrugs off an over-diagnosis and over-treatment for liver cancer patients. It shrugs off the need for unnecessary biopsies. An MRI can screen the stage, location, shape, and size of the cancerous growth in your liver.
An MRI can help in diagnosing liver cirrhosis at its early stage. Studies exhibit that an MRI is 88% specific and 84% sensitive for examining liver cirrhosis. Studies even show that an MRI holds 75% accuracy in detecting fatty-liver diseases. It gives superior images of non-cancerous or benign lesions. It can help quantify liver steatosis.
National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that an MRI is 88% accurate in screening liver fibrosis, the responsive condition caused by hepatitis C or B, alcohol abuse, or non-alcoholic fatty liver. An MRI scan can measure the blood supply to your liver and diagnose vascular troubles.
However, patients with metal implants like pacemakers or aneurysm clips cannot pursue an MRI scan because the test reports may come inaccurate due to the false signals thrown by them.
PET Scan: The Prominent Pick To Assess Cellular Metabolic Activities In Your Liver!
If and when your doctors are more concerned about the cellular activities in your liver, they are most likely to opt for a functional imaging study, typically a PET scan. This technique is quite similar to x-rays, but not the same! It involves radioactive tracers but does not work in revealing structural abnormalities.
Doctors use this imaging test to determine how much glucose gets transported to the liver tissues from your bloodstream. A high level of glucose transportation indicates complex conditions like liver cancer. Herein, the malignant cells appear bright white on the PET imaging.
Medical researchers claim that a PET is way better than an MRI or contrast-enhanced CT in staging liver cancer. A PET scan can expose if another abnormal liver condition mimics cancerous growth in structural scans. It can also show whether your liver cancer shows recurrence.
Your doctor may ask for a PET scan to diagnose liver metastases, evaluate inflamed liver caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and therefore decreases the risk of cirrhosis development. Moreover, a PET scan can help trace the origin tissue for liver cirrhosis and assess whether the fluid buildup or liver ascites arises from malignancies or benign liver cirrhosis.
Thus, the conclusion is that you need professional help to determine which scan for the liver is the best for your case. Your doctor is the one who can acknowledge better. Only your doctor can diagnose and plan the right treatment for you.
If your doctor recommends an MRI in Chandigarh for detecting and examining liver diseases, look at www.mrichandigarh.com. Here, you can find the top radiology centers in Chandigarh and book your test at discounted rates.