Hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia: CT and sonographic spectrum

A. Shirkhoda, M. C. Farah, E. Bernacki, B. Madrazo, J. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Fifteen patients with pathologically proven focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) of the liver had abdominal computed tomography (CT) (15) and ultrasound (11). In seven patients, the lesions were incidentally found during gallbladder or renal examination, whereas the other eight had a primary neoplasm and the liver was studied for possible metastasis. In 11 unenhanced CT scans, the ratio of isodense to hypodense lesions was 8 to 3. In 15 contrasten-hanced CT scans, seven were isodense, six were hypodense, and in two, the lesion enhanced (hyperdense). In seven patients a hypodense lesion on unenhanced CT became isodense with contrast injection. Delayed images in three showed the lesions appearing as hypodense in two and displaying a rim of enhancement in one. In one case, unenhanced CT was normal and only enhanced CT showed an area of homogeneous increased density. Ultrasound was done in 11 patients, the lesion was hypoechoic to the liver in five, echogenic in four, and isoechoic in two. Findings of central scar were seen on CT and ultrasound in three cases. Pathologic diagnosis was available in all cases, seven by needle aspiration and eight by surgical resection. In our experience, FNH has many CT and sonographic features that can mimic hemangioma or metastasis. While the presence of a central scar increases the specificity, in a cancer patient, the findings should be interpreted with caution and needle aspiration should be obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Liver, diseases
  • Liver, neoplasms
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Urology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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