Purpose: To assess the value of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the pre-therapeutic detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis with the combination of computed tomography (CT) arterial portography and CT hepatic arteriography (CTAP/CTHA). Materials and Methods: A total of 54 consecutive patients with 87 nodular HCCs were retrospectively analyzed. All HCC nodules were confirmed pathologically. Three blinded readers independently reviewed 432 hepatic segments, including 78 segments with 87 HCCs. Each reader read two sets of images: Set 1, CTAP/CTHA; Set 2, gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI including a gradient dual-echo sequence and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). The ROC method was used to analyze the results. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and sensitivity according to tumor size were evaluated. Results: For each reader, the area under the curve was significantly higher for Set 2 than for Set 1. The mean area under the curve was also significantly greater for Set 2 than for Set 1 (area under the curve, 0.98 vs. 0.93; P=.0009). The sensitivity was significantly higher for Set 2 than for Set 1 for all three readers (P=.012, .013 and .039, respectively). The difference in the specificity, positive predictive values and negative predictive values of the two modalities for each reader was not significant (P>. 05). Conclusion: Gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI including a gradient dual-echo sequence and DWI is recommended for the pre-therapeutic evaluation of patients with HCC.
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