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Radiology. 2019 Feb;290(2):388-397. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018181290. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

LI-RADS Classification and Prognosis of Primary Liver Cancers at Gadoxetic Acid-enhanced MRI.

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From the Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology (S.H.C., S.S.L., Y.M.S., M.G.L.), Department of Gastroenterology (K.M.K.), and Department of Pathology (E.Y., Y.P.), University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, South Korea; and Department of Radiology, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea (S.H.P.).


Purpose To (a) evaluate the postsurgical prognostic implication of the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) categories of primary liver cancers and (b) determine the performance of LI-RADS version 2017 in differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHCC) and combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma (cHCC-CC) at gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI. Materials and Methods In this retrospective study, 194 patients with cirrhosis and surgically proven single primary liver cancer (53 with cHCC-CC, 44 with IHCC, and 97 with HCC) were evaluated with gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI between 2009 and 2014. The mean patient age was 57 years (age range, 30-83 years). There were 155 men with a mean age of 56 years (range, 30-81 years) and 39 women with a mean age of 58 years (range, 38-83 years). Two independent readers assigned an LI-RADS category for each nodule. Overall survival (OS), recurrence-free survival (RFS), and their associated factors were evaluated by using the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard model. Results In the multivariable analysis, the LI-RADS category was an independent factor for OS (hazard ratio, 4.2; P < .001) and RFS (hazard ratio, 2.6; P = .01). The LR-M category showed more correlation with poorer OS and RFS than did the LR-4 or LR-5 category for all primary liver cancers (P < .001 for both), HCCs (P = .01 and P < .001, respectively), and cHCC-CCs (P = .01 and P = .03, respectively). The LR-5 category had a sensitivity of 69% (67 of 97) and a specificity of 87% (84 of 97) in the diagnosis of HCC; most false-positive diagnoses (85%, 11 of 13) were the result of misclassification of cHCC-CCs. Conclusion The Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) category was associated with postsurgical prognosis of primary liver cancers, independent of pathologic diagnosis. The LI-RADS enabled the correct classification of most hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, whereas differentiation of combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma from HCC was unreliable. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Bashir and Chernyak in this issue.


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