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Technical report: gadoxetate-disodium-enhanced 2D R2* mapping: a novel approach for assessing bile ducts in living donors

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PURPOSE:Gadoxetate-disodium (Gd-EOB-DTPA)-enhanced 3D T1- weighted (T1w) MR cholangiography (MRC) is an efficient method to evaluate biliary anatomy due to T1 shortening of excreted contrast in the bile. A method that exploits both T1 shortening and T2* effects may produce even greater bile duct conspicuity. The aim of our study is to determine feasibility and compare the diagnostic performance of two-dimensional (2D) T1w multi-echo (ME) spoiled gradient-recalled-echo (SPGR) derived R2* maps against T1w MRC for bile duct visualization in living liver donor candidates. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Ten potential living liver donor candidates underwent pretransplant 3T MRI and were included in our study. Following injection of Gd-EOBDTPA and a 20-min delay, 3D T1w MRC and 2D T1w ME SPGR images were acquired. 2D R2* maps were generated inline by the scanner assuming exponential decay. The 3D T1w MRC and 2D R2* maps were retrospectively and independently reviewed in two separate sessions by three radiologists. Visualization of eight bile duct segments was scored using a 4-point ordinal scale. The scores were compared using mixed effects regression model. RESULTS:Imaging was tolerated by all donors and R2* maps were successfully generated in all cases. Visualization scores of 2D R2* maps were significantly higher than 3D T1w MRC for right anterior (p = 0.003) and posterior (p = 0.0001), segment 2 (p < 0.0001), segment 3 (p = 0.0001), and segment 4 (p < 0.0001) ducts. CONCLUSIONS:Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced 2D R2* mapping is a feasible method for evaluating the bile ducts in living donors and may be a valuable addition to the living liver donor MR protocol for delineating intrahepatic biliary anatomy.

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