The Federal Government has announced three new Medicare item numbers covering contrast enhanced MRI liver scans, effective 1 May 2019. North Coast Radiology St Vincents rooms now offer this service under a bulk-billed status.
MRI produces multi-plane images of the liver and it’s surrounding structures. These images can demonstrate the extent and, often tumour type of a lesion and its association with the surrounding hepatic system. Comprehensive images of the liver are achieved with MRI that compliment other radiological investigations such as CT scans or ultrasound when making a definitive diagnosis.
Primary Liver Cancer and Colorectal Metastasis
Colorectal or Bowel Cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia. Risk factors include high alcohol consumption,family history, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, polyps, high red meat consumption and smoking.
The liver is the most common site of metastasis for patients with colorectal cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or hepatoma is the most common form of primary liver cancer. Associated risks for primary liver cancer are Chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis, haemochromatosis and obesity. The contrast media that is used when imaging the liver, Primovist, helps differentiate the type of lesion which is presented.
The Liver MRI Medicare guidelines and new Medicare Item numbers are:
(A) Colorectal carcinoma (item 63545)
(B) Hepatocellular carcinoma (item 63546)
(C) Hepatobiliary specific contrast agent, Primovist *(item 63496) with the liver MRI scanning