Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States (1). Previous studies have compared portal vein blood flow and velocity in normal subjects and patients with varying results (2–5). In comparing grades of cirrhosis, based on the “Child-Pugh” score, portal flow was significantly affected as the degree of cirrhosis increased (2–4). These previous studies have used a variety of imaging methods; the most common being Doppler Ultrasound (2–5). The use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and phase contrast (PC) – MRI has not been used extensively to study liver hemodynamics. When compared to ultrasound, MRI is often superior in providing anatomical and hemodynamic information. There has also been no in depth study of normal portal vein hemodynamics, an important step for understanding changes due to cirrhosis. This study seeks to preliminarily characterize normal portal venous hemodynamics in a small number of subjects utilizing both MRI and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The long term clinical objective is to develop non-invasive diagnostic methods to evaluate and monitor the progression of cirrhosis in patients with chronic liver disease.

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