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Radiology. 1996 May;199(2):505-11.

Hepatocellular carcinoma: evaluation with biphasic, contrast-enhanced, helical CT.

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Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



To evaluate the added value of hepatic arterial-dominant phase (HAP) imaging to portal venous-dominant phase (PVP) imaging in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at computed tomography (CT).


Sixty-six patients with proved HCC underwent biphasic contrast-enhanced CT. HAP and PVP images were obtained at 20-50 and 60-100 seconds, respectively. PVP images were evaluated for the number of HCC foci. Then, HAP images were reviewed to determine whether any additional HCCs were seen.


Three hundred twenty-six tumor foci were seen. HAP images depicted 309 foci (95%) and PVP images 268 (82%). In seven patients (11%), tumor was visible only on HAP images. During the HAP, tumors were hyperattenuating compared with liver in 26 patients, of mixed attenuation in 26, and hypoattenuating in 14 without correlation with histologic appearance. Portal vein thrombosis was identified in 17 of 21 patients on HAP images; in 12 patients, the thrombosis was diagnosed as malignant with neovascularity within the thrombus or diffuse thrombus enhancement.


Use of both HAP and PVP contrast-enhanced CT optimizes the evaluation of patients with or at risk for HCC.

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