Is MRI of the Liver Needed During Routine Preoperative Workup for Colorectal Cancer?
The clinical efficacy of gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI as a routine preoperative procedure for all patients with colorectal cancer remains unclear.OBJECTIVE:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of preoperative gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI for the diagnosis of liver metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer.DESIGN:
This was a retrospective analysis from a prospective cohort database.SETTINGS:
All of the patients were from a subspecialty practice at a tertiary referral hospital.PATIENTS:
Patients who received preoperative gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI after CT and attempted curative surgery for colorectal cancer were included.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
The number of equivocal hepatic lesions based on CT and gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI and diagnostic use of the gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI were measured.RESULTS:
We reviewed the records of 690 patients with colorectal cancer. Equivocal hepatic lesions were present in 17.2% of patients based on CT and in 4.5% based on gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI. Among 496 patients with no liver metastasis based on CT, gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI detected equivocal lesions in 15 patients and metastasis in 3 patients. Among 119 patients who had equivocal liver lesions on CT, gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI indicated hepatic lesions in 103 patients (86.6%), including 90 with no metastasis and 13 with metastasis. Among 75 patients who had liver metastasis on CT, gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI indicated that the hepatic lesions in 2 patients were benign, in contrast to CT findings. The initial surgical plans for hepatic lesions according to CT were changed in 17 patients (3%) after gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI.LIMITATIONS:
This study was limited by its retrospective design.CONCLUSIONS:
The clinical efficacy of gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI as a routine preoperative procedure for all patients with colorectal cancer is low, in spite of its high diagnostic value for detecting liver metastasis. However, this study showed gadoxetic acid–enhanced liver MRI was helpful in characterizing equivocal hepatic lesions identified in CT and could lead to change in treatment plans for some patients. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A420.