Hepatic MR imaging for in vivo differentiation of steatosis, iron deposition and combined storage disorder: single-ratio in/opposed phase analysis vs. dual-ratio Dixon discrimination.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether in vivo dual-ratio Dixon discrimination can improve detection of diffuse liver disease, specifically steatosis, iron deposition and combined disease over traditional single-ratio in/opposed phase analysis. METHODS: Seventy-one patients with biopsy-proven (17.7 ± 17.0 days) hepatic steatosis (n = 16), iron deposition (n = 11), combined deposition (n = 3) and neither disease (n = 41) underwent MR examinations. Dual-echo in/opposed-phase MR with Dixon water/fat reconstructions were acquired. Analysis consisted of: (a) single-ratio hepatic region-of-interest (ROI)-based assessment of in/opposed ratios; (b) dual-ratio hepatic ROI assessment of in/opposed and fat/water ratios; (c) computer-aided dual-ratio assessment evaluating all hepatic voxels. Disease-specific thresholds were determined; statistical analyses assessed disease-dependent voxel ratios, based on single-ratio (a) and dual-ratio (b and c) techniques. RESULTS: Single-ratio discrimination succeeded in identifying iron deposition (I/O(Ironthreshold)<0.88) and steatosis (I/O(Fatthreshold>1.15)) from normal parenchyma, sensitivity 70.0%; it failed to detect combined disease. Dual-ratio discrimination succeeded in identifying abnormal hepatic parenchyma (F/W(Normalthreshold)>0.05), sensitivity 96.7%; logarithmic functions for iron deposition (I/O(Irondiscriminator)e((F/W(Fat)-0.01)/0.48)) differentiated combined from isolated diseases, sensitivity 100.0%; computer-aided dual-ratio analysis was comparably sensitive but less specific, 90.2% vs. 97.6%. CONCLUSION: MR two-point-Dixon imaging using dual-ratio post-processing based on in/opposed and fat/water ratios improved in vivo detection of hepatic steatosis, iron deposition, and combined storage disease beyond traditional in/opposed analysis.
Bashir, MR; Merkle, EM; Smith, AD; Boll, DT
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