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Radiology. 1988 Nov;169(2):409-15.

Distinction of hepatic cavernous hemangioma from hepatic metastases with MR imaging.

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Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109.


Twenty-four hepatic cavernous hemangiomas and 91 metastases from a variety of hypovascular and hypervascular primary neoplasms were prospectively studied with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In addition to qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis of signal intensity ratios of lesion to normal liver was performed with images obtained with 500/28-30 (repetition time msec/echo time msec) and 2,000/28-150 sequences. Quantitative data did not improve the ability to distinguish hemangiomas from metastases in our series compared with qualitative analysis. Hypovascular metastases, such as colon carcinoma, could be differentiated from hemangioma more frequently (97.5%) than hypervascular endocrine metastases, such as islet cell tumor, carcinoid, and pheochromocytoma (61%). These findings indicate that the utility of MR imaging in differentiating hemangiomas from metastases is dependent on the histologic type of the primary neoplasm.

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