Imaging features of hepatic sarcomatous carcinoma on computed tomography and gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging
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To determine the imaging features of hepatic sarcomatous carcinoma including sarcomatous intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (S-ICC) and sarcomatous hepatocellular carcinoma (S-HCC) on computed tomography (CT) and gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and methods
Twenty-four patients with pathologically confirmed S-ICCs (n = 13), S-HCCs (n = 7), sarcomatous carcinoma (n = 2), carcinosarcoma (n = 1), and sarcomatous combined HCC–CC (n = 1) (size range 2.1–23 cm, mean 8.3 cm) underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI (n = 20) and/or dynamic CT (N = 24). Underlying chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis was found in 17 patients. Two reviewers evaluated morphology, signal intensity, and enhancement features of tumors based on a consensus.
Lobulated contour was observed in 15 tumors (62.5%); the rest were round or oval masses. During dynamic imaging, S-ICCs showed poor enhancement (n = 10 on CT; n = 7 on MRI) or initial thin-rim enhancement with/without progressive enhancement (n = 3 on CT; n = 6 on MRI). S-HCCs and the other four tumors showed a thin or thick enhancement pattern on both CT and MRI. T2 bright signal intensity similar to fluid was found in 10 tumors. Target appearance on hepatobiliary phase and diffusion-weighted imaging was seen in two S-ICCs and two S-HCCs. Of 18 surgically resected tumors, 17 showed vascular invasion and/or thrombosis in histology and 12 in CT and MRI. Ten tumors were accompanied by intrahepatic metastasis or tumor seeding and 19 patients had recurrence or progression of tumors during follow-up.
Hepatic sarcomatous carcinoma including S-HCC and S-ICC generally presents minimal rim-like arterial enhancement or extreme hypovascularity on CT and gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI with a high frequency of T2 bright area due to extensive necrosis and vascular invasion.
KeywordsSarcomatous carcinoma Cholangiocarcinoma Hepatocellular carcinoma Gadoxetic acid Magnetic resonance imaging
Compliance with ethical standards
No funding was received for this study.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.
Statement of informed consent was not applicable since the manuscript does not contain any patient data.
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