Comparison of hepatocellular carcinoma conspicuity on hepatobiliary phase images with gadoxetate disodium vs. delayed phase images with extracellular cellular contrast agent

So Yeon Kim, En Haw Wu, Seong Ho Park, Z. Jane Wang, Thomas A. Hope, Judy Yee, Li qin Zhao, Wei Chou Chang, Benjamin M. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the conspicuity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) on hepatobiliary phase of gadoxetate disodium-enhanced vs. delayed phase of gadodiamide-enhanced MR images, relative to liver function. Methods and materials: We retrospectively identified 86 patients with newly diagnosed HCC between 2010 and 2013 and recorded the severity of liver disease by Child-Pugh class (CPC). 38 patients had gadodiamide-enhanced 5-min delayed and 48 had gadoxetate disodium-enhanced 20-min delayed hepatobiliary MR images. The conspicuity of 86 HCCs (mean size, 2.7 cm) was graded visually on a 3-point scale and quantified by liver-to-tumor contrast ratios (LTC). The relative liver parenchymal enhancement (RPE) was measured. For different CPCs, we compared the conspicuity of HCC and RPE between gadodiamide and gadoxetate. Results: In patients with CPC A, the visual conspicuity and LTC of the 27 HCCs imaged with gadodiamide were significantly lower than those of the 38 HCCs with gadoxetate (P < 0.01, <0.01, respectively). RPE was lower in gadodiamide scans than gadoxetate scans (P < 0.01). Conversely, in patients with CPC B and C, HCCs appeared more frequently as definite hypointensity when imaged with gadodiamide (72.7%, 8/11) than gadoxetate (20%, 2/10, P = 0.03). LTC (mean 18.1 vs. 7.5, P = 0.04) and RPE (mean 75.5 vs. 45.4, P = 0.04) was significantly higher in the gadodiamide than gadoxetate scans. Conclusion: In patients with compromised liver function, hypointensity of HCC is more conspicuous in the gadodiamide delayed phase than the gadoxetate hepatobiliary phase. This likely reflects the high extracellular accumulation of gadodiamide and poor hepatocyte uptake of gadoxetate in patients with compromised liver function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1522-1531
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Gadoxetate
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver MRI
  • Washout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology

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