European Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1205–1213 | Cite as

Assessment of arterial hypervascularity of hepatocellular carcinoma: comparison of contrast-enhanced US and gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR imaging

  • Katsutoshi Sugimoto
  • Fuminori Moriyasu
  • Junji Shiraishi
  • Kazuhiro Saito
  • Junichi Taira
  • Toru Saguchi
  • Yasuharu Imai



To compare contrast-enhanced (CE) ultrasound with gadoxetate disodium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the assessment of arterial hypervascularity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and dysplastic nodule (DN), with CT during hepatic arteriography (CTHA) as the reference standard.


This study included 54 consecutively diagnosed patients, with 57 histologically confirmed HCCs and 3 DNs (high-grade). All patients underwent CE ultrasound, gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR imaging and CTHA. Two trained diagnostic radiologists interpreted the CTHA images and rated the degree of intratumoral arterial vascularity by consensus using a five-point confidence scale as the reference standard. In the observer study, the degrees of vascularity on CE ultrasound and gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR images were qualitatively analysed by four independent readers using a five-point confidence scale. Diagnostic accuracy was analysed by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.


The diagnostic accuracies of the average area under the ROC curve (AUC) were significantly greater with CE ultrasound (average AUC: 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88–1.00) than with gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR imaging (average AUC 0.84, 95% CI 0.74–0.93, P = 0.0014).


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound yields a significantly higher AUC value than gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR imaging in the assessment of arterial hypervascularity of HCC and DN.

Key Points

Arterial hypervascularity is an important feature determining treatment options in hepatocellular carcinoma.

It can be assessed by contrast-enhanced (CE) ultrasound or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

CE ultrasound was more accurate than Gd-EOB-DTPA MRI in assessing intratumoral vascularity.

Hypovascular hepatic nodules should be further investigated using CE ultrasound.


Ultrasound Contrast media MR imaging Gadoxetic acid Hepatocellular carcinoma 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katsutoshi Sugimoto
    • 1
  • Fuminori Moriyasu
    • 1
  • Junji Shiraishi
    • 2
  • Kazuhiro Saito
    • 3
  • Junichi Taira
    • 1
  • Toru Saguchi
    • 3
  • Yasuharu Imai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyTokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.School of Health Sciences, Kumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyTokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan

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