RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
To assess the enhancement pattern of focal confluent fibrosis (FCF) on contrast-enhanced hepatic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using hepatocyte-specific (Gd-EOB-DTPA) and extracellular (ECA) gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
After institutional review board approval, 10 patients with PSC (6 male, 4 female; 33-61 years) with 13 FCF were included in this retrospective study. All patients had a Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced liver MRI exam, and a comparison ECA-enhanced MRI. On each T1-weighted dynamic dataset, the signal intensity (SI) of FCF and the surrounding liver as well as the paraspinal muscle (M) were measured. In the Gd-EOB-DTPA group, hepatocyte phase images were also included. SI FCF/SI M, SI liver/SI M, and [(SI liver - SI FCF)/SI liver] were compared between the different contrast agents for each dynamic phase using the paired Student's t-test.
There was no significant difference in SI FCF/SI M in all imaging phases. SI liver/SI M was significantly higher for the Gd-EOB-DTPA group in the delayed phase (P < .001), whereas there was no significant difference in all other imaging phases. In the Gd-EOB-DTPA group, mean [(SI liver - SI FCF)/SI liver] were as follows (values for ECA group in parentheses): unenhanced phase: 0.26 (0.26); arterial phase: 0.01 (-0.31); portal venous phase (PVP): -0.05 (-0.26); delayed phase (DP): 0.14 (-0.54); and hepatocyte phase: 0.26. Differences were significant for the DP (P < .001).
On delayed phase MR images the FCF-to-liver contrast is reversed with the lesions appearing hyperintense on ECA enhanced images and hypointense on Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced images.