MR imaging of hepatocellular carcinomas: Effect of Cu and Fe contents on signal intensity

H. Honda, K. Kaneko, Y. Kanazawa, T. Hayashi, T. Fukuya, T. Matsumata, T. Maeda, K. Masuda

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    Background: To elucidate the metallic factors contributing to the signal intensities of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) on T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images and to determine whether or not changes in signal intensity contribute to the diagnosis of histological grading of HCC. Methods: In 35 patients immediately after surgery, the quantities of water, lipid, copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn) were determined in HCCs and the surrounding hepatic parenchyma. The correlations among these findings, the histopathological findings, and the signal intensities of T1-weighted MR images were evaluated. Results: Among the 35 HCCs, 12 (34%) were of high intensity, 14 (40%) were isointense, and 9 (26%) were of low intensity on T1- weighted images versus the surrounding hepatic parenchyma. The paramagnetic ions, which contributed to the signal intensity patterns, were assumed to be Cu in HCCs (30.5 ± 52.9 μg/g ww), and Fe in the livers (106.2 ± 86.8 μg/g ww) and HCCs (87.7 ± 49.1 μg/g ww). In 12 HCCs with high intensity, one was grade I, eight were grade II, and three were grade III according to Edmondson-Steiner's histopathological classification. Conclusions: Signal intensity and signal intensity patterns alone cannot be signs of low-grade malignancy because of the Fe in livers and in HCCs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-66
    Number of pages7
    JournalAbdominal Imaging
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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