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Rofo. 2012 Sep;184(9):788-94. Epub 2012 May 22.

Application of classification trees for the qualitative differentiation of focal liver lesions suspicious for metastasis in gadolinium-EOB-DTPA-enhanced liver MR imaging.

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Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Sophien und Hufeland Klinikum, Weimar.



To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of qualitative descriptors alone and in combination for the classification of focal liver lesions (FLLs) suspicious for metastasis in gadolinium-EOB-DTPA-enhanced liver MR imaging.


Consecutive patients with clinically suspected liver metastases were eligible for this retrospective investigation. 50 patients met the inclusion criteria. All underwent Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced liver MRI (T2w, chemical shift T1w, dynamic T1w). Primary liver malignancies or treated lesions were excluded. All investigations were read by two blinded observers (O1, O2). Both independently identified the presence of lesions and evaluated predefined qualitative lesion descriptors (signal intensities, enhancement pattern and morphology). A reference standard was determined under consideration of all clinical and follow-up information. Statistical analysis besides contingency tables (chi square, kappa statistics) included descriptor combinations using classification trees (CHAID methodology) as well as ROC analysis.


In 38 patients, 120 FLLs (52 benign, 68 malignant) were present. 115 (48 benign, 67 malignant) were identified by the observers. The enhancement pattern, relative SI upon T2w and late enhanced T1w images contributed significantly to the differentiation of FLLs. The overall classification accuracy was 91.3 % (O1) and 88.7 % (O2), kappa = 0.902.


The combination of qualitative lesion descriptors proposed in this work revealed high diagnostic accuracy and interobserver agreement in the differentiation of focal liver lesions suspicious for metastases using Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced liver MRI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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