Correlation of native liver parenchyma t1 and t2 relaxation times and liver synthetic function tests: A pilot study

Ute Lina Fahlenkamp, Jan Kunkel, Katharina Ziegeler, Konrad Neumann, Lisa Christine Adams, Günther Engel, Sarah Maria Böker, Marcus Richard Makowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


MR relaxometry increasingly contributes to liver imaging. Studies on native relaxation times mainly describe relation to the presence of fibrosis. The hypothesis was that relaxation times are also influenced by other inherent factors, including changes in liver synthesis function. With the approval of the local ethics committee and written informed consent, data from 94 patients referred for liver MR imaging, of which 20 patients had cirrhosis, were included. Additionally to standard sequences, both native T1 and T2 parametric maps and T1 maps in the hepatobiliary phase of ga-doxetate disodium were acquired. Associations with laboratory variables were assessed. Altogether, there was a negative correlation between albumin and all acquired relaxation times in cirrhotic patients. In non-cirrhotic patients, only T1 values exhibited a negative correlation with albumin. In all patients, bilirubin correlated significantly with post-contrast T1 relaxation times, whereas native relaxation times correlated only in cirrhotic patients. Evaluating patients with pathological INR values, post-contrast relaxation times were significantly higher, whereas native relaxation times did not correlate. In conclusion, apart from confirming the value of hepatobiliary phase T1 map-ping, our results show a correlation of native T1 with serum albumin even in non-cirrhotic liver parenchyma, suggesting a direct influence of liver’s synthesis capacity on T1 relaxation times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1125
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional imaging
  • Liver function
  • MR relaxometry
  • Mapping


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