Edinburgh Imaging

04 Nov 17. Liver study underway

Edinburgh and Basingstoke are enrolling patient volunteers for the HepaT1ca project, which seeks to boost care for liver cancer patients

Liver study 'HepaT1ca'
Liver study 'HepaT1ca'

Patients facing surgery to remove liver cancers could benefit from a £1.1million initiative that uses advanced imaging technology to improve care.

Researchers are testing whether novel MR scanning techniques can help doctors assess possible risks to patients before liver surgery.

The project – called HepaT1ca – involves the University of Edinburgh and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They work with University of Oxford spin-out company Perspectum Diagnostics, which has developed the technology called LiverMultiScan™.

The system can safely and accurately identify poor liver health caused by excessive fat, inflammation, scar tissue or high iron content. This non-invasive technology can provide a detailed picture of liver health to help the multidisciplinary surgical team assess the risks of major liver surgery.

The study is now under way with both clinical sites actively enrolling patient volunteers. The University of Edinburgh is scanning patients using the Siemens Magnetom Verio 3T MR scanner, housed within the Edinburgh Imaging QMRI Facility.


It’s fantastic that patients are willing to dedicate their time to this important study as their efforts will help build novel technology that may lead to improved outcomes after surgery. By advancing the MRI technology behind LiverMultiScan™ we aim to measure liver health prior to surgery and give more accurate assessments of surgical risk.”

Head of Innovation Perspectum DiagnosticsDr Matt Kelly

Surgery is the most effective treatment for liver tumours. Doctors typically remove the section of the liver that is affected by cancer and leave the remainder of the organ intact. The remaining part of the liver needs to function well enough for the patient to survive after surgery until the liver can regenerate back to full health.


We are delighted to be underway with this study, which we hope will bring important safety benefits for patients with liver cancer who are considering major liver surgery.”

Jonathan Fallowfield and Damian MoleLead researchers at the University of Edinburgh

The initiative is backed by University of Edinburgh Medical Innovations Team – formerly Sunergos – which supports the University of Edinburgh to translate medical innovation into better health outcomes for patients.