Background: T2*-weighted MRI may represent a novel method for identifying hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The goal of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of T2*-weighted MRI for HCC with liver explant correlation. Materials and methods: A retrospective review identified 25 patients who had undergone liver transplantation with pre-operative T2*-weighted MRI. All patients had Child's-Pugh A (9), B (9), or C (7) liver disease with 13 transplanted for liver dysfunction and 12 for HCC. The T2*-weighted images were interpreted by 2 blinded, independent observers and the results compared with the explanted specimens. Sensitivity and specificity of T2*-weighted MRI for the identification of HCC was assessed. Results: By pathology, 16 HCC (mean largest diameter 2.1 cm; range 0.9-3.6 cm) were identified in 14 patients. Reader 1 had a sensitivity of 69% (95% confidence interval 41-88%) and a specificity of 100% (68-100%). Reader 2 had a sensitivity of 56% (31-79%) and a specificity of 100% (68-100%). There was a very good inter-observer agreement (kappa = 0.84). Conclusion: T2*-weighted MRI had a moderate sensitivity for identifying HCC but had an excellent specificity. A T2*-weighted MR sequence may be a useful component of a liver MRI protocol due to its high specificity for HCC, and may be particularly useful in patients unable to undergo gadolinium enhanced MRI.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging