European Radiology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 383–391 | Cite as

A New Model for MR Evaluation of Liver Function with Gadoxetic Acid, Including Both Uptake and Excretion

  • Daniel Truhn
  • Christiane K. Kuhl
  • Alexander Ciritsis
  • Alexandra Barabasch
  • Nils A. Kraemer



Most existing models that are in use to model hepatic function through assessment of hepatic gadoxetic acid enhancement kinetics do not consider quantitative measures of gadoxetic excretion. We developed a model that allows a simultaneous quantitation of uptake and excretion of liver specific contrast agents. The aim was to improve the assessment of hepatic synthetic function, and provide quantitative measures of hepatic excretion function.


Sixteen patients underwent dynamic T1-weighted turbo gradient echo imaging at 1.5 T prior and after bolus injection of gadoxetic acid at 0.1 ml/kg. DCE-images were obtained for 30 min after injection. A dual-inlet two-compartment model was then used to fit the measured liver signal values. Four tissue parameters (extracellular volume fraction, arterial flow fraction, uptake rate and excretion half-time) were extracted for each liver segment.


The proposed model provided a good fit to acquired data. Mean values for arterial flow fraction (0.08+-0.04), extracellular volume (0.20±0.08) and uptake rate (4.02 ±1.32 /100 ml/min) were comparable to those obtained with the conventional model (0.08±0.05, 0.21±0.12, and 4.93±1.74), but exhibited significantly less variation and improved fit quality.


The proposed model is more accurate than existing conventional models and provides an additional excretion parameter.

Key Points

• Models of hepatic contrast agent uptake can be extended to include excretion.

• Including an additional excretion parameter improves accuracy of the model.

• Standard diagnostic sequences can be extended to incorporate the model.


Hepatobiliary elimination Magnetic resonance imaging Contrast media Patient-specific modelling 

Abbreviations and acronyms


Dynamic contrast-enhanced


Magnetic resonance imaging


Region of interest



We gratefully acknowledge the continued research support by Philips Healthcare, Hamburg, Germany. In particular we would like to thank Dr. Burkhard Maedler for his guidance and advice during the project.


This research project was supported by the START program of the Faculty of Medicine, RWTH Aachen, Germany.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Prof. Christiane Kuhl.

Conflict of interest

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.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• prospective

• experimental

• performed at one institution


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyRWTH University Hospital AachenAachenGermany

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