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Allegheny General Hospital Streamlines Testing for Liver Transplant Patients with Advanced Cardiac MRI
Date:11/15/2013

d to explore whether a comprehensive evaluation could be achieved in a single MRI study.”

The published study results document the cases of 51 patients with chronic liver disease referred to AGH for liver transplant evaluation who underwent concurrent cardiac, vascular and abdominal imaging via cardiac MRI.

The average scan time for the evaluations was 72 minutes. It frequently can take between two and three days for all necessary cardiac assessments to be performed and individual exams within the required panel, such as nuclear testing, can take up to four hours to complete. Cost was not part of the pilot study, but a preliminary cost analysis based on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursements from December 2011, showed an average savings of $1,500 when MRI studies were used in place of traditional preoperative evaluations.

“Our institution continually strives to improve patient care and we value the concept of providing not only the best clinical outcomes, but also the most patient-friendly and cost-efficient services,” said [Ngoc Thai, MD, PhD, Director of Abdominal Transplantation at AGH. “This more cohesive approach to preoperative imaging not only saves significant time for both patients and medical providers, but the advanced imaging capabilities of cardiac MRI may improve our evaluation process and ultimately result in better patient outcomes.”

Moreover, using MRI technology can facilitate testing in seriously ill patients. Many patients with end stage liver disease fall into this acutely ill patient population, according to [Jose Oliva, MD, Medical Director of the hospital’s Liver Transplantation Program.

“Patients with end stage liver disease may present with swelling and fluid buil
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