COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Is magnetic resonance imaging of hepatic hemangioma any different in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis compared to normal liver?

PURPOSE: To compare qualitative and quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging characteristics of hepatic hemangiomas in patients with normal, fibrotic and cirrhotic livers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective, institutional review board approved study (waiver of informed consent). Eighty-nine consecutive patients with 231 hepatic hemangiomas who underwent liver MR imaging for lesion characterization were included. Lesions were classified into three groups according to the patients' liver condition: no underlying liver disease (group 1), fibrosis (group 2) and cirrhosis (group 3). Qualitative and quantitative characteristics (number, size, signal intensities on T1-, T2-, and DW MR images, T2 shine-through effect, enhancement patterns (classical, rapidly filling, delayed filling), and ADC values) were compared.

RESULTS: There were 160 (69%), 45 (20%), and 26 (11%) hemangiomas in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Lesions were larger in patients with normal liver (group 1 vs. groups 2 and 3; P=.009). No difference was found between the groups on T2-weighted images (fat-suppressed fast spin-echo (P=.82) and single-shot (P=.25)) and in enhancement patterns (P=.56). Mean ADC values of hemangiomas were similar between groups 1, 2 and 3 (2.11±.52×10(-3) mm(2)/s, 2.1±.53×10(-3) mm(2)/s and 2.14±.44×10(-3) mm(2)/s, P=87, respectively). T2 shine-through effect was less frequently observed in cirrhosis (P=.02).

CONCLUSION: MR imaging characteristics of hepatic hemangioma were similar in patients with normal compared to fibrotic and cirrhotic livers. Smaller lesion size was observed with liver disease and less T2 shine-through effect was seen in hemangiomas developed on cirrhosis, the latter being an important finding to highlight in these patients at risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma.

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