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Diagnostics (Basel). 2015 Sep 21;5(3):383-98. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics5030383.

Contrast Enhanced MRI in the Diagnosis of HCC.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. eniendor@umn.edu.
2
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. spil0042@umn.edu.
3
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. wangx962@umn.edu.
4
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. taylora@umn.edu.

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the 6th most common cancer worldwide. Imaging plays a critical role in HCC screening and diagnosis. Initial screening of patients at risk for HCC is performed with ultrasound. Confirmation of HCC can then be obtained by Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), due to the relatively high specificity of both techniques. This article will focus on reviewing MRI techniques for imaging HCC, felt by many to be the exam of choice for HCC diagnosis. MRI relies heavily upon the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents and while primarily extracellular gadolinium-based contrast agents are used, there is an emerging role of hepatobiliary contrast agents in HCC imaging. The use of other non-contrast enhanced MRI techniques for assessing HCC will also be discussed and these MRI strategies will be reviewed in the context of the pathophysiology of HCC to help understand the MR imaging appearance of HCC.

KEYWORDS:

HCC; Hepatocellular carcinoma; MRI; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; liver

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