The objectives of this study were twofold: (a) to assess safety and tolerability of the hepatobiliary MR contrast agent MnDPDP; and (b) to investigate the sensitivity of MnDPDP-enhanced MRI, in comparison with dual-phase spiral CT, in the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis. Fifty patients with liver cirrhosis and histologically proven HCC were enrolled in a prospective phase IIIB clinical trial. All patients underwent evaluation with dual-phase spiral CT and pre-contrast and post-contrast MRI at 1.5 T. The MR examination protocol included spin-echo (SE) and gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) T1-weighted images acquired before and 60-120 min after administration of 0.5 μmol/kg (0.5 ml/kg) MnDPDP (Teslascan, Nycomed Amersham, Oslo, Norway); and fast T2-weighted SE images obtained solely before contrast injection. Gold standard was provided by findings at Lipiodol CT in combination with follow-up spiral CT studies, which were repeated at 4-month intervals over a 10- to 27 month (mean ± SD 20.1 ± 5.1 months) follow-up period. No serious adverse event occurred. Eighty tumors ranging 0.8-9.1 cm in diameter (mean ± SD 3.2 ± 2.4 cm) were detected by Lipiodol CT or confirmed as cancerous foci by follow-up CT studies. Pre-contrast MRI detected 38 of 80 lesions (48%); MnDPDP-enhanced MRI, 65 of 80 lesions (81%); pre-contrast plus post-contrast MRI, 69 of 80 lesions (86%); and dual-phase spiral CT, 64 of 80 lesions (80%). The difference between unenhanced and MnDPDP-enhanced MRI was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The difference between MRI (pre-contrast plus post-contrast) and dual-phase spiral CT was not statistically significant (p = 0.33). The confidence in the final diagnosis, however, was significantly higher for MRI as compared with spiral CT (p < 0.001). MnDPDP is a safe and well-tolerated hepatobiliary MR contrast agent. Magnetic resonance imaging with use of MnDPDP is significantly more sensitive than unenhanced MRI and as good as dual-phase spiral CT for detection of HCC in cirrhosis.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- MR contrast agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging