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Histogram Analysis of Hepatobiliary Phase MR Imaging as a Quantitative Value for Liver Cirrhosis: Preliminary Observations



To investigate whether histogram analysis of the hepatobiliary phase on gadoxetate enhanced-MRI could be used as a quantitative index for determination of liver cirrhosis.

Materials and methods

A total of 63 patients [26 in a normal liver function (NLF) group and 37 in a cirrhotic group] underwent gadoxetate-enhanced MRI, and hepatobiliary phase images were obtained at 20 minutes after contrast injection. The signal intensity of the hepatic parenchyma was measured at four different regions of interest (ROI) of the liver, avoiding vessels and bile ducts. Standard deviation (SD), coefficient of variation (CV), and corrected CV were calculated on the histograms at the ROIs. The distributions of CVs calculated from the ROI histogram were examined and statistical analysis was carried out.


The CV value was 0.041±0.009 (mean CV±SD) in the NLF group, while that of cirrhotic group was 0.071±0.020. There were statistically significant differences in the CVs and corrected CV values between the NLF and cirrhotic groups (p<0.001). The most accurate cut-off value among CVs for distinguishing normal from cirrhotic group was 0.052 (sensitivity 83.8% and specificity 88.5%). There was no statistically significant differences in SD between NLF and cirrhotic groups (p=0.307).


The CV of histograms of the hepatobiliary phase on gadoxetate-enhanced MRI may be useful as a quantitative value for determining the presence of liver cirrhosis.

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