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Magnetic resonance imaging of hepatic focal lesions: dynamic contrastographic evaluation with gadolinium versus reticulo-endothelial hepato-specific contrast media

Magnetic resonance imaging of hepatic focal lesions: dynamic contrastographic evaluation with gadolinium versus reticulo-endothelial hepato-specific contrast media

La Radiologia Medica 100(4): 245-250

To compare the potentials of AMI-25 (Endoren) to those of Gadolinium with the dynamic contrast-enhanced technique in the differential diagnosis of focal liver lesions. Forty patients with at least one focal liver lesion diagnosed at US underwent MRI. We used a 1.5 T unit and employed single-shot half-Fourier T2-weighted FSE and spoiled gradient-echo T1-weighted sequences before and after Gadolinium injection. Multiple acquisitions were obtained during the arterial, portal and delayed phases. Twenty-four to 48 hours later T2*-weighted GRE and SPGR/90 degrees sequences were obtained after AMI-25 administration. In the characterization of solid lesions the gold standard was biopsy performed with a shearing needle; for the diagnosis of angiomas and of 11 metastatic lesions we considered follow-up and clinical data as important diagnostic elements. We found 12 hepatocarcinomas, 14 metastases, 4 cases of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), 4 adenomas and 6 angiomas. The diagnosis was correct and confirmed by the conventional examination in all cases but 2 adenomatous lesions and 2 angiomas. Precontrast studies showed slight hyperintensity in 2 of 4 cases of FNH, while the other 2 lesions appeared isointense and were therefore detected only on postcontrast images, where there was contrast agent uptake during the arterial phase and rapid washout. We found only one central scar hyperintense on T2- and hypointense on T1-weighted images. After AMI-25 administration all lesions appeared isointense to surrounding parenchyma on T2* GRE sequences. Adenomas were isointense in the precontrast phase and postcontrast 3 of them showed strong Gadolinium uptake and rapid washout. After AMI-25 two of the 4 lesions were hyperintense while the other two were isointense to the parenchyma. Four of 6 angiomas exhibited a typical pattern characterized by signal hyperintensity on T2-weighted sequences and on AMI-25-enhanced T1- and T2-weighted sequences. Two angiomas were supposed to be of malignant nature but histology showed the presence of a strong fibrotic component. Hepatocarcinomas could be detected on precontrast images. After Gadolinium administration 10 lesions appeared hyperintense in the arterial phase and 2 were hypointense. After AMI-25 all lesions exhibited homogeneous signal hyperintensity and appeared slightly bigger than on Gadolinium-enhanced images. The metastases were only partly demonstrated by MRI. Postgadolinium studies showed 13 lesions with hyperintense signal in the portal phase. AMI-25 administration detected 14 lesions that appeared slightly bigger than on Gadolinium-enhanced images. AMI-25 can help also in characterizing primary lesions with an atypical signal pattern after contrast agent administration thanks to its intrinsic capability of accumulating in benign lesions. However it remains difficult to characterize well differentiated hepatocarcinomas and adenomas. Finally, AMI-25 improves MR capabilities in detecting secondary lesions and possible satellite nodules.

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Accession: 046598305

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PMID: 11155451

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