Purpose: To assess the relationship between lesion size and MR imaging findings of pathologically-proven hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and Methods: In a retrospective, single-center study, 37 consecutive patients were identified between 1999 and 2005 that underwent preoperative MRI and surgical resection of HCC. A total of 47 lesions (mean size = 6.85 cm, range = 1-25 cm) were assessed for signal intensity (SI), enhancement patterns, and secondary morphologic features. Interobserver rating, percentage enhancement, and contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR) were determined. Lesions were assessed for combinations of typical MRI features. Regression analysis was used to assess relations between MRI findings and tumor size. Results: On fat-suppressed T2-weighted (T2w) fast-spinecho, smaller lesions had lower SI compared to larger lesions (P < 0.05). In the arterial phase, smaller lesions showed significantly higher percentage enhancement compared to larger lesions (P < 0.05). In the delayed phase, smaller lesions showed less pronounced washout (P < 0.05). Heterogeneity of the lesions, including fatty infiltration, internal nodules, or mosaic pattern, was observed significantly more frequently in larger lesions (P < 0.001). The classic combination of high T2w signal, strong arterial enhancement, and delayed phase washout was present in 23 of 44 lesions (52%). Conclusion: Smaller HCC often showed lower SI on T2w, more intense arterial enhancement, and less pronounced delayed washout compared to larger HCC.

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doi.org/10.1002/jmri.21046, hdl.handle.net/1765/36541
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Bos, I.C, Hussain, S.M, Dwarkasing, R.S, Hop, W.C.J, Zondervan, P.E, de Man, R.A, … Krestin, G.P. (2007). MR imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma: Relationship between lesion size and imaging findings, including signal intensity and dynamic enhancement patterns. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 26(6), 1548–1555. doi:10.1002/jmri.21046