Evaluation of Magnetic Resonance (MR) Biomarkers for Assessment of Response With Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors: Comparison of the Measurements of Neuroendocrine Tumor Liver Metastases (NETLM) With Various MR Sequences and at Multiple Phases of Contrast Administration

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Our aim was to compare the interobserver and intraobserver variability for the measurement of the size of liver metastases in patients with carcinoid tumors with various magnetic resonance (MR) series.

Materials and Methods

In this retrospective institutional review board–approved study, 30 patients with liver metastases from a carcinoid primary had a complete MR examination of the abdomen at 1.5 T with gadolinium-ethoxybenzyl-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA). The complete MR examination included T1 (in-phase [IP]/out-of-phase [OOP], T2, diffusion-weighted imaging, pre–Gd-EOB-DTPA and post–Gd-EOB-DTPA 3D gradient echo (4 phases plus 20-minute hepatobiliary phase [HBP] Gd]). Four readers reviewed each series independently. The measurement for each lesion was compared to HBP-Gd images. The sensitivity for detection of each lesion was compared to HBP-Gd. Variance component analysis was used to estimate variance due to patient, lesion within patient, and reader by sequence. Linear mixed model was used to compare lesion size between sequences.


The HBP-Gd had the smallest interreader variability. There was no significant difference between series with respect to interreader variability. Lesion sizes measured in diffusion-weighted imaging was significantly higher. T2-weighted imaging was the closest to HBP-Gd. Lesion sizes measured with the other sequences were significantly smaller. There was significant difference in sensitivity of lesion detection of some series when compared to HBP-Gd.


The HBP-Gd series had the smallest interreader variability and is the recommended series to measure lesion size for evaluation of response to treatment.

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