MRI: I’ve recently had an MRI for awful... - British Liver Trust

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Hayleigh79 profile image

I’ve recently had an MRI for awful ongoing mid right back pain (18mths) that goes to my shoulder, my LFTs are now in range since giving up alcohol 8mths ago however I’m B12 and folate deficient. Ultrasound on liver was normal, but I’ve still got so many symptoms, when they done the MRI they only done a spinal one, does any one know if this would still show up surrounding organs such as my liver please

21 Replies

MRIs don't miss other body parts that are in its field of vision i.e its a high resolution 360 view that shows everything from all sides including detailed cross sections. However, the parameters that are set determine the scale of the scan. For example it may be set to look at a specific section of the of the lower vertebrae and therefore will not cover areas much higher up like the top of your abdomen or your chest.

Also, the images generated specifically for reporting are usually magnified around the area of concern, with other things cropped out. So although the report would always mention ANY obvious abnormalities, it may not focus too much on something not requested by the referring Dr.

Basically a scan investigating the lower lumbar and middle thoracic region could easily see the liver but you just need to double check what was asked for and thus most likely included.

Moreover, I would still be very reassured by your normal liver ultrasound...and don't fall for: "people say ultrasounds miss cirrhosis" that statement on this forum is the medical equivalent of an urban legend.

Hayleigh79 profile image
Hayleigh79 in reply to chrisw740

Thank you so much for the very informative reply, it’s much appreciated. I have an appointment to discuss results in a couple of week so will ask there aswell.

Yes the whole ultrasounds can miss things is very unsettling!

My husband has regular US to monitor his cirrhosis, they always come through just as US of abdomen.


Hey Binkie, an abdominal ultrasound would absolutely look at the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, spleen, etc. A full abdominal ultrasound sometimes involes you turning on your side briefly to assist the sonographer when looking at things like your pancreas (often obscured otherwise) Both moving and still images are taken and saved. The moving images can see how well blood is flowing through the livers portal vein and your abdominal aorta for example. So basically it's comprehensive and unremarkable is great!

I had an ultrasound and CT,both said cirrhosis.

Abdominal ultrasound covers all organs of the abdomen as others have said. My hubbies 6 monthly ultrasounds are also always labelled as "Ultrasound-Abdomen". You can be rest assured this covered the liver in good detail.

Hubby has been scanned some 18/20+ times now by different operatives, reported on by different doctors and never once have they reported anything other than 'coarse, dense echo texture in keeping with cirrhosis!'. Ultrasound can most definitely ID full on cirrhosis.


Good luck

In medical speech unremarkable means normal

CHRISR999 profile image
CHRISR999 in reply to laura53923

Hi Laura thanks for clearing that up. So what does remarkable mean in medical terms

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to CHRISR999

They don't seem to use that expression

Kristian profile image
Kristian in reply to laura53923

Hahaha, yes. That is very true.

Good luck

Good luck for Thursday!

Almost all the posters who don't believe the ultrasound result has ruled our cirrhosis are suffering from health anxiety and are self diagnosing.

Anythings possible but if all the basic tests (looked at together) do not indicate liver disease its fairly safe to accept that diagnosis.

Worrysome profile image
Worrysome in reply to Roy1955

How was yours diagnosed Roy?

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to Worrysome

Roy was diagnosed with cirrhosis from blood tests and US. Endoscopy showed varices. Had no obvious symptoms

Worrysome profile image
Worrysome in reply to laura53923

That must be a shock to someone.

Roy1955 profile image
Roy1955 in reply to Worrysome

I had a routine bloodtest that we are offered after age 60.That showed elevated LFTs

Dr ordered an ultrasound scan that showed a course liver structure.

I then paid private for a fibroscan that proved cirrhosis with a score of 24.

I was referred to hospital and they stuck cameras up and down.

Down showed low grade varices in keeping with liver disease.

Only symptoms I have had apart from lack of energy/tiredness are probably because I am aware of having cirrhosis and I am looking/expecting to be sick.

I also paid for a full liver check with one of the UKs top Dr's who confirmed the diagnosis and by following his advice I am still symptom free 5 years later.

Worrysome profile image
Worrysome in reply to Roy1955

Yes, hope you stay well, sure you will.

But as you can see from Roy's diagnosis. Every single test he had picked up on his condition. Every. single. one. To have all those and every test comes back negative means something.

Roy1955 profile image
Roy1955 in reply to DM-001

Yes.And I also had the ELF blood test that showed cirrhosis as well.

If you have liver disease the tests WILL detect it.

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