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Catch the fatty liver disease before it progresses to fibrosis. Flickr

Researchers have developed a diagnostic tool, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that could be used to detect fatty liver disease or liver fibrosis.

“Since it’s a non-invasive test, you could screen people even before they have obvious symptoms of the compromised liver, and you would be able to say which of these patients had fibrosis,” said study author Michael Cima from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.


The device, which is small enough to fit on a table, uses NMR to measure how water diffuses through tissue, which can reveal how much fat is present in the tissue.

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This kind of diagnostic, which has thus far been tested on mice, could help doctors catch the fatty liver disease before it progresses to fibrosis, the study published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering said.

Fatty liver disease occurs when liver cells store too much fat. This leads to inflammation and eventually fibrosis, a build-up of scar tissue that can cause jaundice and liver cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure.

Fibrosis is usually not diagnosed until the patient begins to experience symptoms that include not only jaundice but also fatigue and abdominal swelling.


Fatty liver disease occurs when liver cells store too much fat. Flickr

To create an easier way to check for this kind of liver disease, the research team had the idea of adapting a detector that they had previously developed to measure hydration levels before and after patients undergo dialysis.

That detector measures fluid volume in patients’ skeletal muscle by using NMR to track changes in the magnetic properties of hydrogen atoms of water in the muscle tissue. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that their detector could identify fibrosis with 86 percent accuracy, and fatty liver disease with 92 percent accuracy.

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It takes about 10 minutes to obtain the results, but the researchers are now working on improving the signal-to-noise ratio of the detector, which could help to reduce the amount of time it takes.

The current version of the sensor can scan to a depth of about six millimeters below the skin, which is enough to monitor the mouse liver or human skeletal muscle. The researchers are now working on designing a new version that can penetrate deeper below the tissue, to allow them to test the liver diagnosis application in human patients. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)