Histologic characteristics of hepatocellular carcinomas showing atypical enhancement patterns on 4-phase MDCT examination
Injoong Kim ; Myeong-Jin Kim
Korean Journal of Radiology, Vol.13(5) : 586~593, 2012
Korean Journal of Radiology
OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively define which histologic characteristics of small-sized hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) are related to atypical dynamic enhancement on multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) imaging.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-three patients with 83 HCCs (3 cm or less in diameter) were included in this study. All patients underwent 4-phase MDCT imaging and subsequent surgery within eight weeks. Two independent radiologists blinded to the histologic findings retrospectively classified the HCCs as either typical (showing increased enhancement on arterial phase images followed by washout in late phase images) or atypical lesions demonstrating any other enhancement pattern. From the original pathologic reports, various histologic characteristics including gross morphology, nuclear histologic grades, presence of capsule formation, and capsule infiltration when a capsule was present, were compared among the two groups.
RESULTS: An atypical enhancement pattern was seen in 30 (36.2%) of the 83 HCCs. The mean size of atypical HCCs (1.71 ± 0.764) was significantly smaller than that of typical HCCs (2.31 ± 0.598, p < 0.001). Atypical HCCs were frequently found to be vaguely nodular in gross morphology (n = 13, 43.3%) and to have grade I nuclear grades (n = 17, 56.7%). Capsule formation was significantly more common in typical HCCs (p < 0.001). Capsular infiltration was also more common in typical HCCs (p = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: HCCs showing atypical dynamic enhancement on MDCT imaging are usually smaller than typical HCCs, vaguely nodular type in gross morphology in most cases, and well-differentiated in nuclear grades, and they lack of capsule formation or capsular infiltration.