LI-RADS treatment response categorization on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI: diagnostic performance compared to mRECIST and added value of ancillary features

Se Woo Kim, Ijin Joo, Hyo Cheol Kim, Su Joa Ahn, Hyo Jin Kang, Sun Kyung Jeon, Jeong Min Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: This study was conducted in order to assess the performance of the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) treatment response (TR) (LR-TR) categorization on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI (Gd-EOB-MRI) for detecting viable tumors in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with locoregional treatment (LRT) and to investigate the added value of ancillary features (AFs) to conventional enhancement-based criteria. Methods: This retrospective study included 183 patients with Gd-EOB-MRI after LRT for HCC and appropriate reference standards for tumor viability (84 viable and 99 nonviable). Two independent radiologists assigned per-lesion mRECIST and TR categories (TR-nonviable, TR-equivocal, or TR-viable) according to the LR-TR algorithm and modified LR-TR algorithms including mLR-TR(TP) allowing transitional phase (TP) washout and mLR-TR(AF) allowing category adjustment by applying AFs. Diagnostic performances of imaging criteria were compared using the Cochran’s Q test with post hoc analysis. Results: For detecting viable tumors, LR-TR-viable resulted in sensitivities of 64.5%/39.3% and specificities of 98.0%/98.0% in reviewers 1/2. In comparison to LR-TR-viable, mRECIST-viable, mLR-TR(TP)-viable, and mLR-TR(AF)-viable showed significantly higher sensitivities (92.9%/94.0%, 77.4%/56.6%, and 86.9%/83.3% in reviewers 1/2) (ps < 0.001). The specificity of mRECIST-viable (73.7%/62.6%) was significantly lower than that of LR-TR-viable (ps < 0.001), while those of mLR-TR(TP)-viable and mLR-TR(AF)-viable were greater than 95% (98.0%/96.0% and 97.0%/96.0%), statistically equivalent to LR-TR-viable (ps > 0.05). TR-equivocal was least assigned on mLR-TR(AF) (1.1%/7.7%) than LR-TR (15.8%/32.2%) or mLR-TR(TP) (6.6%/23.5%) in both reviewers. Conclusion: The LR-TR algorithm on Gd-EOB-MRI provides a specific diagnosis of viable tumor but with limited sensitivity. By applying AFs in the category adjustment, more sensitive and confident diagnosis can be achieved without significant loss of specificity. Key Points: • The LI-RADS treatment response (LR-TR) algorithm on Gd-EOB-MRI provides a highly specific diagnosis of viable HCC but with limited sensitivity. • The inferior sensitivity of LR-TR-viable category to that of mRECIST can be improved by applying ancillary features in the category adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2861-2870
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020



  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Practice guideline

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