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Diagnostic Accuracy of Preoperative Gadoxetic Acid-enhanced 3-T MR Imaging for Malignant Liver Lesions by Using Ex Vivo MR Imaging-matched Pathologic Findings as the Reference Standard.

  • Author(s): Costa, Eduardo AC;
  • Cunha, Guilherme M;
  • Smorodinsky, Emmanuil;
  • Cruite, Irene;
  • Tang, An;
  • Marks, Robert M;
  • Clark, Lisa;
  • Wolfson, Tanya;
  • Gamst, Anthony;
  • Sicklick, Jason K;
  • Hemming, Alan;
  • Peterson, Michael R;
  • Middleton, Michael S;
  • Sirlin, Claude B
  • et al.

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To determine per-lesion sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) of gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for the diagnosis of malignant lesions by using matched (spatially correlated) hepatectomy pathologic findings as the reference standard. Materials and


In this prospective, institutional review board-approved, HIPAA-compliant study, 20 patients (nine men, 11 women; mean age, 59 years) with malignant liver lesions who gave written informed consent underwent preoperative gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3-T MR imaging for surgical planning. Two image sets were independently analyzed by three readers to detect liver lesions (set 1 without and set 2 with hepatobiliary phase [HBP] images). Hepatectomy specimen ex vivo MR imaging assisted in matching gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3-T MR imaging findings with pathologic findings. Interreader agreement was assessed by using the Cohen κ coefficient. Per-lesion sensitivity and PPV were calculated.


Cohen κ values were 0.64-0.76 and 0.57-0.84, and overall per-lesion sensitivity was 45% (42 of 94 lesions) to 56% (53 of 94 lesions) and 58% (55 of 94 lesions) to 64% (60 of 94 lesions) for sets 1 and 2, respectively. The addition of HBP imaging did not affect interreader agreement but significantly improved overall sensitivity for one reader (P < .05) and almost for another (P = .05). Sensitivity for 0.2-0.5-cm lesions was 0% (0 of 26 lesions) to 8% (two of 26 lesions) for set 1 and 4% (one of 26 lesions) to 12% (three of 26 lesions) for set 2. Sensitivity for 0.6-1.0-cm lesions was 28% (nine of 32 lesions) to 59% (19 of 32 lesions) for set 1 and 66% (21 of 32 lesions) to 69% (22 of 32 lesions) for set 2. Sensitivity for lesions at least 1.0 cm in diameter was at least 81% (13 of 16 lesions) for set 1 and was not improved for set 2. PPV was 98% (56 of 57 lesions) to 100% (60 of 60 lesions) for all readers without differences between image sets or lesion size.


Gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3-T MR imaging provides high per-lesion sensitivity and PPV for preoperative malignant liver lesion detection overall, although sensitivity for 0.2-0.5-cm malignant lesions is poor.

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