Recently, it has been suggested that peritumoral decreased uptake area (PDUA) in the hepatobiliary phase (HBP) of gadoxetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was associated with vascular invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We aimed to investigate correlations between microvascular invasion and PDUA, and elucidate the predictability of PDUA for tumor recurrence after resection.
We retrospectively analyzed clinicopathological and radiological data from 126 consecutive patients with single HCC ≤5 cm without macrovascular invasion who underwent preoperative Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI and surgical resection. The presence of a faint and hypointense area around the tumor in the HBP was defined as PDUA.
Among 126 patients with HCCs, microvascular invasion was observed in 29 (23.0%) patients and PDUA was observed in 15 (11.9%) patients. PDUA [odds ratio (OR) 20.06, confidence interval (CI) 4.74–84.96, P < .001] was an independent risk factor for microvascular invasion. In multivariate survival analysis using Cox regression, PDUA [hazard ratio (HR) 4.51, CI 2.17–9.38, P < .001], pathologically confirmed satellite nodules (HR 5.18, CI 1.50–17.88, P = .009), and AFP (≥100 ng/mL, HR 2.28, CI 1.04–5.01, P = .040) were independent risk factors for recurrence after resection. Recurrence-free survival in the group with PDUA was significantly lower than that in the group without PDUA according to analysis using the Kaplan–Meier method with the log-rank test (P < .001).
PDUA in the HBP of Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI could be a useful preoperative predictor of microvascular invasion and independent prognostic factor after surgical resection in patients with single HCC ≤5 cm without macrovascular invasion.