Timing Bolus Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced (DCE) MRI Assessment of Hepatic Perfusion: Initial Experience

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Abstract

Purpose:

To assess whether dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI timing bolus data from routine clinical examinations can be postprocessed to obtain hepatic perfusion parameters for diagnosing cirrhosis.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively identified 57 patients (22 with cirrhosis and 35 without cirrhosis) who underwent abdominal MRI, which included a low-dose (2 mL gadodiamide) timing bolus using a volumetric spoiled gradient echo T1-weighted sequence through the abdomen. Using a dual-input single-compartment model, the following perfusion parameters were measured: arterial, portal, and total blood flow; arterial fraction; mean transit time; and distribution volume. Those parameters were compared between patients with and without cirrhosis using t-tests. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to identify the perfusion parameters that can best predict the presence of cirrhosis.

Results:

The hepatic arterial fraction, arterial flow, and distribution volume in patients with cirrhosis (27.7 ± 8.3%, 44.8 ± 14.1 mL/minute/100 g, and 16.3 ± 4.5%, respectively) were significantly higher than those without cirrhosis (18.7 ± 4.4%, 28.5 ± 11.7 mL/minute/100 g, and 14.0 ± 4.2%, respectively; P < 0.05 for all). ROC analysis showed arterial fraction as the best predictor of cirrhosis, with sensitivity of 73% and specificity of 86%.

Conclusion:

Timing bolus DCE MR images from routine examinations can be postprocessed to yield potentially useful hepatic perfusion parameters.

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