Gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3.0 T MRI for the evaluation of hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer: Metastasis is not always seen as a "defect" on the hepatobiliary phase

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Purpose: To determine specific imaging features of hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer, focusing on the hepatobiliary phase (HBP) of gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI. Materials and methods: Over a 2-year period, 79 hepatic metastatic lesions were identified from 32 patients (22 men and 10 women) who proven colorectal cancer and underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced 3.0 T MRI. Hepatic metastases were proven pathologically in 16 patients: by surgical liver resection (n = 14) and by US-guided biopsy (n = 2). The remaining 16 patients were considered to have hepatic metastasis based on imaging studies and clinical information. Two radiologists evaluated the imaging features of each MRI sequence, including high resolution T2WI, dynamic contrast enhancement study with hepatobiliary phase, and diffusion weighted image. We also compared SI of the lesions on T2WI and HBP. Results: T2WI showed homogeneous high SI (n = 25; 31.7%), target appearance (n = 3; 3.8%), reversed target appearance (n = 2; 2.6%), and heterogeneously high SI (n = 49; 62%). On HBP, homogeneous defect were seen in 22 lesions (27.9%), target appearance in five lesions (6.4%), reversed target appearance in two lesions (2.5%), and heterogeneous defect in 50 lesions (63.3%); including reticular (70%), partially globular (26%), and diffuse GGO-like (4%) patterns. According to the imaging features on HBP, the homogeneous defect and heterogeneous defect groups had a mean ADC value of 0.99 × 10-3 and 1.07 × 10-3 mm2/s, respectively, without statistically significant difference. Conclusion: Hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer usually showed as a heterogeneous defect on HBP and a heterogeneous high SI on T2WI. The generally accepted "true defect" was not a common finding in hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3998-4004
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1



  • Colon Cancer
  • Gadoxetic acid
  • Liver
  • Metastasis
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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