Diagnostic performance of gadoxetic acid-enhanced liver MR imaging versus multidetector CT in the detection of dysplastic nodules and early hepatocellular carcinoma

Bo Ram Kim, Jeong Min Lee, Dong Ho Lee, Jeong Hee Yoon, Bo Yun Hur, Kyung Suk Suh, Nam Joon Yi, Kyung Boon Lee, Joon Koo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the diagnostic performance of gadoxetic acid-enhanced liver magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with that of contrast material-enhanced multidetector computed tomography (CT) in the detection of borderline hepatocellular nodules in patients with liver cirrhosis and to determine the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) categories of these detected nodules. Materials and Methods: The institutional review board approved this retrospective study and waived the informed consent requirement. Sixtyeight patients with pathologically proven dysplastic nodules (DNs) (low-grade DNs, n = 20; high-grade DNs, n = 17), early hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) (n = 42), or progressed HCCs (n = 33) underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR imaging and multidetector CT. An additional 57 patients without any DNs or HCCs in the explanted livers were included as control subjects. Three radiologists independently graded the presence of liver nodules on a five-point confidence scale and assigned LI-RADS categories by using imaging findings. Jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristics (JAFROC) software was used to compare the diagnostic accuracy of each modality in lesion detection. Results: Reader-averaged figures of merit estimated with JAFROC software to detect hepatocellular nodules were 0.774 for multidetector CT and 0.842 for MR imaging (P = .002). Readers had significantly higher detection sensitivity for early HCCs with MR imaging than with multidetector CT (78.6% vs 52.4% [P = .001], 71.4% vs 50.0% [P = .011], and 73.8% vs 50.0% [P = .001], respectively). A high proportion of overall detected early HCCs at multidetector CT (59.4%) and MR imaging (72.3%) were categorized as LIRADS category 4. Most early HCCs (76.2%) and high-grade DNs (82.4%) demonstrated hypointensity on hepatobiliary phase images. In total, 30 more LI-RADS category 4 early HCCs were identified with MR imaging than with multidetector CT across all readers. Conclusion: Gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR imaging performed significantly better in the detection of high-risk borderline nodules, especially early HCCs, than did multidetector CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2017

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