Imaging Biomarkers for Metabolic Clinical Trials
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MRI and MRI-Estimated Proton Density Fat Fraction
MRI and MRI-Estimated Proton Density Fat Fraction (MRI-PDFF) are methods to assess whole body, regional and organ-specific composition, such as liver fat content. They are particularly useful to characterize features of NAFLD and NASH.
Diffusion-Weighted MRI (DW-MRI) is a method that can be utilized to investigate the microarchitecture and functional aspects of tissues, for example, to arrive at conclusions of active inflammatory processes.
Corrected T1 (cT1)-Weighted MRI
Corrected T1 (cT1)-Weighted MRI is another method that can be utilized to identify and characterize inflammatory or fibrotic processes at an organ or tissue level.
Contrast-Enhanced MRI (CE MRI) is typically used to detect and assess liver masses and lesions and can also be used to assess and visualize liver tissue function. Gadolinium-based chelated agents (GBCA) and non-GBCA, such as reticuloendothelial and hepatobiliary agents, can also be used to assess and visualize liver tissue function. The readout can potentially serve as a surrogate biomarker of active inflammatory or fibrotic processes.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography
Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) is a non-invasive technique to assess the biomechanical properties of tissues through images of sound wave propagation. The readout is used to quantify and categorize stages of liver stiffness and fibrosis.
Dual-energy Absorptiometry (DEXA) is used to assess body composition, total body fat, and breakdown of bone mineral density, fat tissue, and muscle by X-ray technology.
Positron Emission Tomography or Combined PET and CT
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Combined PET and Computed Tomography (PET/CT) is an imaging technique used to quantify and visualize functional aspects of metabolism, such as the activity and regional distribution of brown adipose tissue. Isotope-labeled biological substances are metabolized as part of normal physiological processes. PET scanning is then used to quantify these metabolic processes.
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