This study will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine blood flow patterns in the
arteries and veins of the liver and abdomen. It will 1) determine the best way to measure
blood flow in these vessels, and 2) make detailed measurements of the blood flow patterns of
these vessels. Information about normal liver blood flow may help explain the role of blood
flow in liver disease.
Normal healthy volunteers 18 years of age and older may be eligible for this study. They
will undergo MRI-a diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to show
structural and chemical changes in tissue and the speed of moving blood. The patient lies on
a stretcher inside a metal cylinder (the scanner) for 1 to 1.5 hours and will be required to
lie very still for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and the
amount of oxygen in the fingertip are measured during the scan.
The involvement of the liver by certain disease processes is non-uniform and may be related
to hepatic anatomy and the dynamics of portal blood flow. These differences may result from
inhomogeneous delivery of hepatic toxins or trophic substances, tumor secretion products or
tumor metastases to different portions of the liver. In addition to effects on the natural
history of hepatic disease, these features may affect the performance (planning/methods)
and interpretation of diagnostic studies, such as hepatic venous sampling for measurement of
tumor secretion products. This study will combine non-invasive quantitative in vivo
measurements of blood flow with in vitro modeling of the vascular system. The purpose of
the study is to define the normal hemodynamics of hepatic blood flow, particularly portal
flow, using Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) and to draw inferences regarding the role
of hemodynamics in the natural history of hepatic disease.
Normal adult volunteers in good health with no history of liver disease or alcohol abuse -
minimum age: 18 years.
Physically able to tolerate lying within the bore of the magnet for 1-2 hours (usual study
is expected to last approximately 1-1.5 hours).
Subjects should not be claustrophobic.
Normotensive: Upper limit of Systolic Blood Pressure 140 mm Hg; Upper limit of Diastolic
Blood Pressure 90 mm Hg.
No known history of vascular disease, including but not limited to the presence of
cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, or if receiving vasoactive medications such
as for treatment of hypertension.
Weight range: 120 lbs. to 250 lbs.
Not pregnant. If a female subject is in her child bearing years and at risk for
pregnancy, subject must be using a reliable birth control method and must be within two
weeks of the onset of the last menstrual period/
No relative or specific contraindications for MRI exam: including, but not limited to,
metal objects in the body such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, cochlear implants, metallic
implants (orthopedic appliance, artificial cardiac valve) or shrapnel. Subjects whose
occupation places them at risk of having unsuspected metal fragments in the eye, such as
welders and metal workers, will be excluded,
No known hearing impairment.