AIM: To compare the diagnostic performances of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and multiphasic multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic liver disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Institutional review board approval was obtained for this study and informed consent was obtained from all patients. Fifty-one patients (43 men, eight women; age range 32-80 years) with 73 HCCs underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI and multiphasic MDCT. Two readers independently analysed each image in three separate reading sessions. The alternative free-response receiver operating characteristic (AFROC) method was used to analyse the diagnostic accuracy. Positive and negative predictive values and sensitivity were evaluated.
RESULTS: A total of 73 HCCs were detected in 51 patients. Although not significant (p>0.05), the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.877 and 0.850 for MDCT, 0.918 and 0.911 for dynamic MRI, and 0.905 and 0.918 for combined interpretation of dynamic and hepatobiliary phase MR images. Differences in sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values between the readers were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Combined interpretation of dynamic and hepatobiliary phase MRI images was more useful than MDCT in the detection of HCC lesions ≤1cm in diameter for one reader (p=0.043).
CONCLUSION: Gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI and MDCT show similar diagnostic performances for the detection of HCC in patients with chronic liver disease. However, the combined interpretation of dynamic and hepatobiliary phase MRI images may improve diagnostic accuracy in the detection of HCC lesions ≤1cm in diameter.