Contrast-enhanced dynamic magnetic resonance imaging findings of hepatocellular carcinoma and their correlation with histopathologic findings
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PURPOSE: To investigate the correlations of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings of large (> 5 cm) hepatocellular carcinomas with tumor size and histopathologic findings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MR imaging was performed in 30 patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. The imaging protocol included non-contrast, hepatic arterial, portal venous and late phases. The signal intensities relative to the liver, enhancement patterns and the morphologic features of the lesions were evaluated in relation to size and degree of differentiation. RESULTS: On histopathologic examination, 12 of 30 (40%) tumors were well-differentiated (grade 1), 6 of 30 (20%) were moderately differentiated (grades 2 and 3) and 12 of 30 (40%) were poorly differentiated (grade 4). Tumor size, tumor boundry, serum alpha-fetoprotein level and portal vein invasion were found to have statistically significant correlations with the degree of differentiation (p < 0.05). Portal vein invasion, capsule formation and tumor surface characteristics showed statistically significant correlations with tumor size (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: MR imaging findings of hepatocellular carcinomas larger than 5 cm are partially dependent on tumor size and degree of differentiation.
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