European Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 2086–2094 | Cite as

Dynamic contrast enhanced MR imaging for evaluation of angiogenesis of hepatocellular nodules in liver cirrhosis in N-nitrosodiethylamine induced rat model

  • Wei Zhang
  • Hui Juan Chen
  • Zhen J. Wang
  • Wei HuangEmail author
  • Long Jiang ZhangEmail author
Magnetic Resonance



To investigate whether dynamic contrast -enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) can distinguish the type of liver nodules in a rat model with N-nitrosodiethylamine- induced cirrhosis.


Liver nodules in cirrhosis were induced in 60 male Wistar rats via 0.01 % N-nitrosodiethylamine in the drinking water for 35-100 days. The nodules were divided into three groups: regenerative nodule (RN), dysplastic nodule (DN), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). DCE-MRI was performed, and parameters including transfer constant (Ktrans), rate constant (Kep), extravascular extracellular space volume fraction (Ve), and initial area under the contrast concentration versus time curve (iAUC) were measured and compared.


The highest Ktrans and iAUC values were seen in HCC, followed by DN and RN (all P < 0.05). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for DN and HCC were 0.738 and 0.728 for Ktrans and iAUC, respectively. The AUROC for HCC were 0.850 and 0.840 for Ktrans and iAUC, respectively. Ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that Ktrans had a high goodness of fit (0.970, 95 % confidence interval, 13.751-24.958).


DCE-MRI is a promising method to differentiate of liver nodules. Elevated Ktrans suggested that the nodules may be transformed into HCC.

Key points

DCE-MRI is promising for differentiating among RN, DN, and HCC

K trans and iAUC positively correlated with malignancy degree of liver nodules

Elevated K trans suggests that the nodules may be transformed into HCC


Dynamic contrast -enhanced -MRI (DCE-MRI) Hepatocellular nodules in cirrhosis Hepatocellular carcinoma Angiogenesis Ktrans 



dynamic contrast- enhanced MRI


transfer constant


rate constant


extravascular extracellular volume fraction


initial area under the gadolinium concentration-time curve


area under the receiver operating characteristic curve


regenerative nodule


dysplastic nodule


hepatocellular carcinoma



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Wei Huang. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This study has received funding by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 81171313 to L.J.Z.), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in the University (NCET-12-0260 to L.J.Z.). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Approval from the institutional animal care committee was obtained. No study subjects or cohorts have been previously reported. Methodology: prospective, experimental, performed at one institution.

Supplementary material

330_2016_4505_Fig6_ESM.gif (313 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

The type of RE-time curves of nodules. The RE-time curves of nodules were divided into four types:constant slow rise (A), slow rise and fall (B), rapid rise, but slow fall (C), and rapid rise and fall (D). (GIF 313 kb)

330_2016_4505_MOESM1_ESM.tif (4.2 mb)
High Resolution Image (TIF 4289 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling HospitalMedical School of Nanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Radiology and Biomedical ImagingUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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