Intrahepatic mass-forming cholangiocarcinoma: Enhancement patterns on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR images

Yusuhn Kang, Jeong Min Lee, Seung Ho Kim, Joon Koo Han, Byung Ihn Choi

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Purpose: To evaluate the enhancement patterns of intrahepatic mass-forming cholangiocarcinomas (IMCCs) with emphasis on the hepatobiliary phase (HBP) of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was institutional review board approved, and the requirement for informed consent was waived. Fifty patients (41 men, nine women; mean age, 62.3 years; range, 44-76 years) with IMCC underwent unenhanced and gadoxetic acid-enhanced T1- and T2- weighted MR imaging including dynamic phase and hepatobiliary phase imaging between May 2008 and December 2010. Signal intensity and enhancement patterns of lesions were compared with those of the liver parenchyma in each phase. Conspicuity and margin sharpness of lesions on dynamic phase and HBP images were rated on a 4- or 5-point scale and compared by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Percentage of relative enhancement was compared among pathologic subgroups by using the unpaired Student t test. Results: On dynamic phase images, 29 of 48 (60%) lesions showed a thin peripheral rim with centripetal or gradual progression. On HBP images, 48 of 50 (96%) IMCCs were hypointense, and two of 50 (4%) were hyperintense. Subjective ratings of conspicuity and margin sharpness were significantly higher on HBP (median scores, 5 and 4, respectively) (P < .001) than on the dynamic phase (median scores, 4 and 3, respectively) images (P < .001). Additional daughter nodules were found in five patients and intrahepatic metastasis was found in one. Percentage of relative enhancement on HBP images was significantly higher in moderately differentiated (66.4% ± 42.1) than in poorly differentiated (36.84% ± 21.5) tumors (P = .039) and in patients without (59.7% ± 28.8) than in those with (24.9% ± 14.7) (P = .036) lymph node metastasis. Conclusion: The most prevalent enhancement pattern on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR images of IMCCs was a thin peripheral rim with internal heterogeneous enhancement during the dynamic phase. HBP images showed increased lesion conspicuity and better delineation of daughter nodules and intrahepatic metastasis, which may aid in the diagnosis of IMCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-760
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012

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