Improving detection of siderotic nodules in cirrhotic liver with a multi-breath-hold susceptibility-weighted imaging technique
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of abdominal susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) in the detection of siderotic nodules in cirrhotic liver. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty patients with pathologically identified liver cirrhosis and 40 age/sex-matched normal controls underwent T1-, T2-, T2*-weighted imaging and SWI at 3T. Two radiologists prospectively analyzed all magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Siderotic nodules detected by each imaging technique were counted for comparison. The conspicuity of siderotic nodules was assessed using a scale from 1 to 3 (1, weak; 2, moderate; 3, prominent). RESULTS: The number of siderotic nodules detected by SWI (3863) was significantly greater than that of T1-weighted imaging (262, P < 0.001), T2-weighted imaging (842, P < 0.001), and T2*-weighted imaging (2475, P < 0.001). No suspected siderotic nodules were detected in normal controls by any imaging technique. CONCLUSION: SWI appears to provide the most sensitive method to detect siderotic nodules in cirrhotic liver.