European Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1889–1894 | Cite as

Age dependence of spleen- and muscle-corrected hepatic signal enhancement on hepatobiliary phase gadoxetate MRI

  • Simon Matoori
  • Johannes M. Froehlich
  • Stefan Breitenstein
  • Aleksis Doert
  • Viktoria Pozdniakova
  • Dow-Mu Koh
  • Andreas GutzeitEmail author
Magnetic Resonance



To identify correlations of signal enhancements (SE) and SE normalized to reference tissues of the spleen, kidney, liver, musculus erector spinae (MES) and ductus hepatocholedochus (DHC) on hepatobiliary phase gadoxetate-enhanced MRI with patient age in non-cirrhotic patients.


A heterogeneous cohort of 131 patients with different clinical backgrounds underwent a standardized 3.0-T gadoxetate-enhanced liver MRI between November 2008 and June 2013. After exclusion of cirrhotic patients, a cohort of 75 patients with no diagnosed diffuse liver disease was selected. The ratio of signal intensity 20 min post- to pre-contrast administration (SE) in the spleen, kidney, liver, MES and DHC, and the SE of the kidney, liver and DHC normalized to the reference tissues spleen or MES were compared to patient age.


Patient age was inversely correlated with the liver SE normalized to the spleen and MES SE (both p < 0.001) and proportionally with the SE of the spleen (p = 0.043), the MES (p = 0.030) and the kidney (p = 0.022). No significant correlations were observed for the DHC (p = 0.347) and liver SE (p = 0.606).


The age dependence of hepatic SE normalized to the enhancement in the spleen and MES calls for a cautious interpretation of these quantification methods.

Key Points

Patient age was inversely correlated with spleen- and MES-corrected liver rSE (p < 0.001).

Patient age was correlated with spleen (p = 0.043) and MES SE (p = 0.030).

Patient age may confound quantitative liver function assessment using gadoxetate-enhanced liver MRI.


MRI Gd-EOB-DTPA Patient age Liver Spleen 



We would like to thank the professional biostatistician Nicole Graf ( for statistical support. The scientific guarantor of this publication is Andreas Gutzeit. The authors of this manuscript declare relationships with the following companies: Johannes M. Froehlich works as a consultant for a contrast media company. The other authors had full control of data and information that might have represented a conflict of interest for the author who is a consultant of a company.

The authors state that this work has not received any funding. The professional biostatistician Nicole Graf ( kindly provided statistical advice for this manuscript. The institutional review board had generally approved retrospective studies. Written informed consent concerning anonymized data evaluation had been obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Study subjects or cohorts have not been published elsewhere. Methodology: retrospective, observational, performed at one institution.

Supplementary material

330_2015_3965_MOESM1_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Matoori
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johannes M. Froehlich
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Stefan Breitenstein
    • 5
  • Aleksis Doert
    • 4
  • Viktoria Pozdniakova
    • 6
  • Dow-Mu Koh
    • 7
  • Andreas Gutzeit
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyParacelsus Medical University SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.Clinical Research GroupHirslanden Clinic St. AnnaLucerneSwitzerland
  3. 3. Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical SciencesETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyCantonal Hospital WinterthurWinterthurSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Surgery, Clinic for Visceral and Thoracic SurgeryCantonal Hospital WinterthurWinterthurSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyStavanger University HospitalStavangerNorway
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyRoyal Marsden HospitalSurreyUK

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