• The technology described in this briefing is LiverMultiScan, MRI-based imaging software. It is intended to be used for characterising liver tissue in people with suspected or confirmed liver disease. Using multiparametric MRI images, the software provides a quantitative assessment of liver fat, and quantitative biomarkers that correlate with liver iron concentration and fibro-inflammation.

  • The innovative aspect is that it is a non-invasive procedure that does not need contrast agent. LiverMultiScan generates imaging markers for the estimation of extracellular fluid, liver iron and fat. It is claimed to improve the speed and reproducibility of liver tissue assessment. A single scan takes about 15 minutes.

  • The intended place in therapy would be with MRI in secondary care for people with liver disease when a liver biopsy is being considered and their initial assessments are equivocal.

  • The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 4 observational UK studies including 428 people with suspected or confirmed liver disease. The results of these studies suggest that MRI with LiverMultiScan provides good diagnostic accuracy for the assessment of liver fibrosis, inflammation, steatosis and haemosiderosis, and may predict clinical outcomes including liver-related events in people with liver disease.

  • Key uncertainties around the evidence or technology are that the evidence is limited, and the diagnostic accuracy and cost effectiveness of LiverMultiScan compared with current invasive and non-invasive diagnostic techniques is uncertain.

  • The cost of LiverMultiScan is £200 per scan for data analysis and reporting. The cost would be in addition to an MRI scan and standard care but the resource impact may be lower if the technology reduces the need for liver biopsy.