Hepatocellular carcinoma lesion characterization: Single-institution clinical performance review of multiphase gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging - Comparison to prior same-center results after MR systems improvements

David J S Becker-Weidman, Bobby T Kalb, Puneet Sharma, Hiroumi D. Kitajima, Christina R. Lurie, Zhengjia Chen, James R. Spivey, Stuart J. Knechtle, Steven I. Hanish, N. Volkan Adsay, Alton B. Farris, Diego R Martin

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Purpose: To measure diagnostic performance in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by using the most recent technology and multiphase gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to compare with earlier results at the same institution. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was institutional review board approved and HIPAA compliant. Informed consent was obtained. Between January 2008 and April 2010, 101 patients underwent liver transplantation and pretransplantation abdominal MR imaging within 90 days. Prospective image interpretations from the clinical record were reviewed for documentation of HCC, including size, number, and location. Liver explant histologic examination provided the reference standard for lesion analysis and was performed in axial gross slices in conjunction with the MR imaging report for direct comparison. Tumors were categorized according to size (≥2 cm or <2 cm), and MR imaging detection sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and accuracy were calculated according to category. The Fisher exact test was used to compare results from this study against prior reported results. Results: Thirty-five (34.7%) of 101 patients had HCC at explant analysis. Patient-based analysis of all lesions showed a sensitivity and specificity of 97.1% (34 of 35) and 100% (66 of 66), respectively. For lesions 2 cm or larger, MR imaging had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% (23 of 23) and 100% (78 of 78), respectively. For lesions smaller than 2 cm, MR imaging had a sensitivity and specificity of 82.6% (19 of 23) and 100% (78 of 78), respectively. Lesion-based sensitivity for all tumors was 91.4% (53 of 58) in the current study, compared with 77.8% in 2007 (P =.07). For lesions smaller than 2 cm, the sensitivity was 87.5% (28 of 32) in the current study, compared with 55.6% previously(P =.02). Conclusion: MR imaging remains a highly accurate diagnostic method for the preoperative evaluation of HCC, and detection of small (<2 cm) tumors has been significantly improved compared with that of earlier studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-833
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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