11 Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, 757 Westwood Plaza, Ste 1638, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
22 Department of Radiology, Chalubhorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
33 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Pathology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
The objective of our study was to determine quantitative differences to differentiate low-grade from high-grade dysplastic nodules (DNs) and low-grade from high-grade hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) using gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A retrospective study of 149 hepatic nodules in 127 consecutive patients who underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI was performed. MRI signal intensities (SIs) of the representative lesion ROI and of ROIs in liver parenchyma adjacent to the lesion were measured on unenhanced T1-weighted imaging and on dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in the arterial, portal venous, delayed, and hepatobiliary phases. The relative SI of the lesion was calculated for each phase as the relative intensity ratio as follows: [mass SI / liver SI].
Of the 149 liver lesions, nine (6.0%) were low-grade DNs, 21 (14.1%) were high-grade DNs, 83 (55.7%) were low-grade HCCs, and 36 (24.2%) were high-grade HCCs. The optimal cutoffs for differentiating low-grade DNs from high-grade DNs and HCCs were an unenhanced to arterial SI of ≥ 0 or a relative SI on T2-weighted imaging of ≤ 1.5, with a positive predictive value (PPV) of 99.2% and accuracy of 88.6%. The optimal cutoffs for differentiating low-grade HCCs from high-grade HCCs were a relative hepatobiliary SI of ≤ 0.5 or a relative T2 SI of ≥ 1.5, with a PPV of 81.0% and an accuracy of 60.5%.
Gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI allows quantitative differentiation of low-grade DNs from high-grade DNs and HCCs, but significant overlap was seen between low-grade HCCs and high-grade HCCs.