Développement et transfert clinique de biomarqueurs en imagerie pour les maladies hépatiques diffuses et focales

 

An Tang

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal

 

Domaine :  nutrition et métabolisme

Programme chercheurs-boursiers-cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2017-2018

Partenaire

Fondation de l'Association des radiologistes du Québec (FARQ)

Chronic liver disease can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be vague or even absent. Chronic liver disease from any cause —including viral hepatitis, alcoholic or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis— can lead to liver fibrosis, a process of tissue scarring in response to injury. Over time, fibrosis can evolve toward cirrhosis, an advanced disease stage associated with a higher risk of developing liver cancer and liver failure that may require transplantation. The incidence of liver cancer is higher in Quebec than in any other Canadian province. The scientific report of the Canadian Liver Foundation highlights an urgent need to develop new strategies for screening and early diagnosis of liver disease to prevent complications. To assess the severity of chronic liver disease or to confirm a diagnosis of liver cancer, a biopsy is sometimes needed. This potentially painful procedure is associated with a risk of bleeding in 0.5% of cases, a source of concern both for patients and their physicians.

The goal of this research program is to develop and validate noninvasive imaging techniques for assessment of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. In the first theme, we will assess quantitative ultrasound techniques for detection of liver fat, inflammation and fibrosis. In the second theme, we will assess artificial intelligence techniques to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of liver cancer. In the third theme, we will evaluate the most cost-effective strategies for surveillance and the most accurate imaging techniques for the diagnosis of liver cancer. Ultimately, this research program aims to reduce the need for liver biopsies, permit noninvasive diagnosis of chronic liver disease or liver cancer and facilitate patient care.