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Eur J Radiol. 2007 Jan;61(1):57-69. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Cirrhosis: CT and MR imaging evaluation.

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  • 1Sezione di Radiologia, Ospedale Specializzato in Gastroenterologia, Saverio de Bellis-IRCCS, 70013 Castellana Grotte (Bari), Italy.


In this article, we present the CT and MR imaging characteristics of the cirrhotic liver. We describe the altered liver morphology in different forms of viral, alcoholic and autoimmune end-stage liver disease. We present the spectrum of imaging findings in portal hypertension, such as splenomegaly, ascites and varices. We describe the patchy and lacelike patterns of fibrosis, along with the focal confluent form. The process of hepatocarcinogenesis is detailed, from regenerative to dysplastic nodules to overt hepatocellular carcinoma. Different types of non-neoplastic focal liver lesions occurring in the cirrhotic liver are discussed, including arterially enhancing nodules, hemangiomas and peribiliary cysts. We show different conditions causing liver morphology changes that can mimic cirrhosis, such as congenital hepatic fibrosis, "pseudo-cirrhosis" due to breast metastases treated with chemotherapy, Budd-Chiari syndrome, sarcoidosis and cavernous transformation of the portal vein.

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