Cross-sectional imaging with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is routinely performed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to assess tumor response to locoregional therapy (LRT). Current response assessment algorithms, such as the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) treatment response algorithm (TRA), allow assessment using conventional gadolinium-based extracellular contrast agents (ECA) for accurate tumor response assessment following LRT. MRI with hepatobiliary agents (HBA) allows an acquisition of hepatobiliary phase (HBP), which is proven to increase sensitivity for detection of observations in at-risk patients, particularly for findings < 2 cm. The use of HBA is not yet incorporated into the TRA; however, it is increasingly used in clinical practice. Few published studies have evaluated the performance of LI-RADS TRA by applying ancillary features related to HBP that has resulted in category adjustment, enabling more sensitive and unequivocal diagnosis. This may help timely management of viable cases, without a significant loss of specificity in comparison with the ECA-based LI-RADS TRA assessment. In this review, we will describe and compare the imaging appearance of treated HCC on MRI using extracellular and hepatobiliary contrast agents and discuss emerging evidence and pitfalls in the assessment of tumor response following LRT with HBA.
- Extracellular contrast agent
- Gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Locoregional treatment response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging