Hepatic hemangiomas vs metastases: MR differentiation at 1.5 T.
We retrospectively studied the value of MR imaging at 1.5 T in distinguishing hepatic hemangiomas (n = 15) from metastases (n = 15) by using (1) lesion/liver signal-intensity ratios, (2) contrast/noise ratios, and (3) T2 relaxation time on long TR/TE spin-echo (SE) sequences. Lesion/liver margin sharpness, lesion shape, and overall lesion morphologic pattern were evaluated also. Univariate logistic regression analysis of the quantitative data showed that T2 was the only statistically significant (p less than .02) variable for distinguishing a hemangioma from a metastasis. A receiver-operator-characteristic plot of T2 produced an area of 0.80 (+/- 0.08). T2 values for these lesions still overlapped with those for metastases. Morphologically, hemangiomas were sharply marginated (80%), rounded or oval (93%), homogeneous, hyperintense lesions (73%), whereas metastases were poorly marginated (66%) and inhomogenous (67%) lesions. The marked, hyperintense appearance was present in 27% of metastases. Retrospective, multivariate logistic regression analysis of T2 and the presence of hyperintense morphology did not improve results based on T2 alone. Morphologic criteria are helpful in differentiation, as some metastases have a prolonged T2 and are not homogenous, hyperintense lesions. In cases where T2 or morphology are equivocal, other diagnostic tests may help confirm the MR findings. We currently use a T2 of greater than 88 msec and the presence of hyperintense morphology to diagnose hemangiomas. Despite both quantitative and qualitative analysis, data for these hemangiomas and metastases still overlap.
Lombardo, DM; Baker, ME; Spritzer, CE; Blinder, R; Meyers, W; Herfkens, RJ
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