European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 2265–2273 | Cite as

Detection of hepatic metastases by superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced MR imaging: prospective comparison between 1.5-T and 3.0-T images in the same patients

  • Keitaro Sofue
  • Masakatsu TsurusakiEmail author
  • Mototaka Miyake
  • Aine Sakurada
  • Yasuaki Arai
  • Kazuro Sugimura



To prospectively compare the diagnostic performance of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 3.0 T and 1.5 T for detection of hepatic metastases.


A total of 28 patients (18 men, 10 women; mean age, 61 years) with 80 hepatic metastases were prospectively examined by SPIO-enhanced MR imaging at 3.0 T and 1.5 T. T1-weighted gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) images, T2*-weighted GRE images and T2-weighted fast spin-echo (SE) images were acquired. The tumour-to-liver contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the lesions was calculated. Three observers independently reviewed each image. Image artefacts and overall image quality were analysed, sensitivity and positive predictive value for the detection of hepatic metastases were calculated, and diagnostic accuracy using the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) method was evaluated.


The tumour-to-liver CNRs were significantly higher at 3.0 T. Chemical shift and motion artefact were more severe, and overall image quality was worse on T2-weighted fast SE images at 3.0 T. Overall image quality of the two systems was similar on T1-weighted GRE images and T2*-weighted GRE images. Sensitivity and area under the ROC curve for the 3.0-T image sets were significantly higher.


SPIO-enhanced MR imaging at 3.0 T provided better diagnostic performance for detection of hepatic metastases than 1.5 T.


Hepatic metastasis Magnetic resonance imaging Superparamagnetic iron oxide 


  1. 1.
    Norris DG (2003) High field human imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging 18:519–529CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schick F (2005) Whole-body MRI at high field: technical limits and clinical potential. Eur Radiol 15:946–959CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hussain SM, Wielopolski PA, Martin DR (2005) Abdominal magnetic resonance imaging at 3.0 T: problem or a promise for the future? Top Magn Reson Imaging 16:325–335CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Merkle EM, Dale BM (2006) Abdominal MRI at 3.0 T: the basics revisited. AJR Am J Roentgenol 186:1524–1532CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Merkle EM, Dale BM, Paulson EK (2006) Abdominal MR imaging at 3.0 T. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am 14:17–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    von Falkenhausen MM, Lutterbey G, Morakkabati-Spitz N et al (2006) High-field-strength MR imaging of the liver at 3.0 T: intraindividual comparative study with MR imaging at 1.5 T. Radiology 241:156–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Akisik FM, Sandrasegaran K, Aisen AM, Lin C, Lall C (2007) Abdominal MR imaging at 3.0 T. Radiographics 27:1433–1444, discussion 1462–1464CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Choi JY, Kim MJ, Chung YE et al (2008) Abdominal applications of 3.0-T MR imaging: comparative review versus a 1.5-T system. Radiographics 28(4):e30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Retz CJ, Stark DD, Metz CE et al (1990) Detection of hepatic metastases: comparison of contrast-enhanced CT, unenhanced MR imaging, and iron oxide-enhanced MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgeno 155:763–770Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Seneterre E, Taourel P, Bouvier Y et al (1996) Detection of hepatic metastases: ferumoxides-enhanced MR imaging versus unenhanced MR imaging and CT during arterial portography. Radiology 200:785–792PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Strotzer M, Gmeinwieser J, Schmidt J et al (1997) Diagnosis of liver metastases from colorectal adenocarcinoma. Comparison of spiral-CTAP combined with intravenous contrast-enhanced spiral-CT and SPIO-enhanced MR combined with plain MR imaging. Acta Radiol 38:986–992PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ward J, Naik KS, Guthrie JA, Wilson D, Robinson P (1999) Hepatic lesion detection: comparison of MR imaging after the administration of superparamagnetic iron oxide with dual-phase CT by using alternative-free response receiver operating characteristic analysis. Radiology 210:459–466PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reimer P, Jähnke N, Fiebich M et al (2000) Hepatic lesion detection and characterization: value of nonenhanced MR imaging, superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced MR imaging, and spiral CT-ROC analysis. Radiology 217:152–158PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vogl TJ, Schwarz W, Blume S et al (2003) Preoperative evaluation of malignant liver tumors: comparison of unenhanced and SPIO (Resovist)-enhanced MR imaging with biphasic CTAP and intraoperative US. Eur Radiol 13:262–272PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rappeport ED, Loft A (2007) Liver metastases from colorectal cancer: imaging with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-enhanced MR imaging, computed tomography and positron emission tomography. Abdom Imaging 32:624–634CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Reimer P, Tombach B (1998) Hepatic MRI with SPIO: detection and characterization of focal liver lesions. Eur Radiol 8:1198–1204CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Balzer T, Carter EC, Shamsi K, Niendorf HP (1996) Results of a multicenter phase II clinical trial with a susceptibility contrast medium for magnetic resonance imaging of the liver. Acad Radiol 3(Suppl 2):S417–S419CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Onishi H, Murakami T, Kim T et al (2006) Hepatic metastases: detection with multi-detector row CT, SPIO-enhanced MR imaging, and both techniques combined. Radiology 239:131–138CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ward J, Robinson PJ, Guthrie JA et al (2005) Liver metastases in candidates for hepatic resection: comparison of helical CT and gadolinium- and SPIO-enhanced MR imaging. Radiology 237:170–180CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kim YK, Ko SW, Hwang SB, Kim CS, Yu HC (2006) Detection and characterization of liver metastases: 16-slice multidetector computed tomography versus superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Eur Radiol 16:1337–1345CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Benderbous S, Corot C, Jacobs P, Bonnemain B (1996) Superparamagnetic agents: physicochemical characteristics and preclinical imaging evaluation. Acad Radiol 3(Suppl 2):S292–S294CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wang YX, Hussain SM, Krestin GP (2001) Superparamagnetic iron oxide contrast agents: physicochemical characteristics and applications in MR imaging. Eur Radiol 11:2319–2331CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    von Falkenhausen M, Meyer C, Lutterbey G et al (2007) Intra-individual comparison of image contrast in SPIO-enhanced liver MRI at 1.5T and 3.0T. Eur Radiol 17:1256–1261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chang JM, Lee JM, Lee MW et al (2006) Superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced liver magnetic resonance imaging: comparison of 1.5 T and 3.0 T imaging for detection of focal malignant liver lesions. Invest Radiol 41:168–174CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kaufman L, Kramer DM, Crooks LE, Ortendahl DA (1989) Measuring signal-to-noise ratios in MR imaging. Radiology 173:265–267PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kumano S, Murakami T, Kim T et al (2003) Using superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced MRI to differentiate metastatic hepatic tumors and nonsolid benign lesions. AJR Am J Roentgenol 181:1335–1339PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kanematsu M, Matsuo M, Yamada Y et al (2003) Perilesional hyperintense rim of malignant hepatic tumors on ferumoxide-enhanced T1-weighted gradient-echo MR images: correlation between MR imaging and histopathologic findings. J Magn Reson Imaging 18:40–48CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Landis JR, Koch GG (1997) The measurement of observer agrrement for categorical data. Biometrics 33:159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Park HS, Lee JM, Kim SH et al (2009) Differentiation of well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas from other hepatocellular nodules in cirrhotic liver: value of SPIO-enhanced MR imaging at 3.0 Tesla. J Magn Reson Imaging 29:328–335CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yoo HJ, Lee JM, Lee MW et al (2008) Hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic liver: double-contrast-enhanced, high-resolution 3.0T-MR imaging with pathologic correlation. Invest Radiol 43:538–546CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kim T, Murakami T, Hori M, Onishi H, Tomoda K, Nakamura H (2009) Effect of superparamagnetic iron oxide on tumor-to-liver contrast at T2*-weighted gradient-echo MRI: comparison between 3.0T and 1.5T MR systems. J Magn Reson Imaging 29:595–600CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tanimoto A, Yuasa Y, Shinmoto H et al (2002) Superparamagnetic iron oxide-mediated hepatic signal intensity change in patients with and without cirrhosis: pulse sequence effects and Kupffer cell function. Radiology 222:661–666CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Fretz CJ, Elizondo G, Weissleder R, Hahn PF, Stark DD, Ferrucci JT Jr (1989) Superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced MR imaging: pulse sequence optimization for detection of liver cancer. Radiology 172:393–397PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ward J, Guthrie JA, Wilson D et al (2003) Colorectal hepatic metastases: detection with SPIO-enhanced breath-hold MR imaging-comparison of optimized sequences. Radiology 228:709–718CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Matsuo M, Kanematsu M, Itoh K et al (2004) Detection of malignant hepatic tumors with ferumoxides-enhanced MRI: comparison of five gradient-recalled echo sequences with different TEs. AJR Am J Roentgenol 182:235–242PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kim MJ, Kim JH, Choi JY et al (2006) Optimal TE for SPIO-enhanced gradient-recalled echo MRI for the detection of focal hepatic lesions. AJR Am J Roentgenol 187:W255–W266CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keitaro Sofue
    • 1
  • Masakatsu Tsurusaki
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Mototaka Miyake
    • 1
  • Aine Sakurada
    • 1
  • Yasuaki Arai
    • 1
  • Kazuro Sugimura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNational Cancer CenterTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Graduate School of MedicineKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  3. 3.Division of Diagnostic RadiologyNational Cancer Center HospitalChuo-kuJapan

Personalised recommendations