The present study compared the efficacy of gadolinium ethoxybenzyl diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) in the estimation of hepatic fibrosis stages with histopathologic correlation.
This retrospective study included 104 patients (87 men and 17 women; mean age, 60.6 ± 10.6 years) with chronic liver disease who underwent both Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI and MRE. The relative enhancement (RE) ratio of the liver parenchyma and the contrast enhancement index (CEI) were calculated as (SIpostliver − SIpreliver)/SIpreliver and SIpost/SIpre, respectively, where SIpost and SIpre were the liver-to-muscle signal intensity ratios on the hepatobiliary phase images and noncontrast-enhanced images, respectively. The liver stiffness values were measured using MRE stiffness maps. The diagnostic performance of MRE, RE ratios, and CEI values for hepatic fibrosis staging were compared.
The distribution of fibrosis stages was as follows: F0, n = 3 (2.9%); F1, n = 12 (11.5%); F2, n = 17 (16.3%); F3, n = 26 (25.0%); and F4, n = 46 (44.2%). MRE, RE ratios, and CEI values correlated significantly with hepatic fibrosis (rs = .79, −.35, −.25, respectively, P < .05). MRE showed a significantly higher diagnostic performance than did RE ratios and CEI values for each fibrosis stage, except while distinguishing the F1 fibrosis stage (CEI, P = .15). A cutoff value of RE ratio = 0.89 can be used to identify patients with significant hepatic fibrosis, with positive predictive value, sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value of 93.2%, 61.8%, 73.3%, and 24.4%, respectively.
Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI can potentially predict significant hepatic fibrosis. However, the diagnostic performance of MRE for hepatic fibrosis staging was superior to that of Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI.