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Difference Analysis of MRI Apparent Diffusion Coefficient and R2* Value Between Small Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Cirrhosis Nodules

Man Li (Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine,Shenyang,China)
Haiquan Wang (Fleming Research Center of Life Sciences,Singapore)


Objective. To investigate the differences of apparent diffusion coefficient and transverse relaxation rate (R2*) in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between micro hepatocellular carcinoma and nodules of cirrhosis. Method. The clinical data of 68 patients with micro hepatocellular carcinoma (76 lesions) and 45 patients with nodular cirrhosis (48 lesions) were retrospectively analyzed. Diffusion weighted imaging and R2* imaging were performed on all patients. The differences of apparent diffusion coefficient and R2* values in patients with micro hepatocellular carcinoma and nodular cirrhosis were compared. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were drawn to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of apparent diffusion coefficient values and R2* values for micro-hepatocellular carcinoma. Result. Compared with nodules of cirrhosis, the mean apparent diffusion coefficient and R2* value of micro-hepatocellular carcinoma were significantly decreased (P < 0. 05). The diagnosis threshold of apparent diffusion coefficient is at 1.35 × 10-3 mm2/s, and the sensitivity for the diagnosis of micro-hepatocellular carcinoma was 80.88 %, and the specificity was 91. 11%, and the corresponding area under the ROC curve was 0. 88; The diagnostic threshold for R2* value was at 53.96 Hz, and the sensitivity for the diagnosis of small hepatocellular carcinoma was 91. 18%, and the specificity was 77.78%, and the corresponding area under the ROC curve was 0.84. Conclusion. MRI apparent diffusion coefficient value and R2* value can be used to differentiate and diagnose micro hepatocellular carcinoma and nodules of cirrhosis, in which the apparent diffusion coefficient of nodules of cirrhosis was less than 1. 35 × 10-3 mm2/s, R2* values were lower than 53. 96 Hz may indicate the occurrence of nodular canceration.


Small liver cancer; Cirrhosis nodules; Magnetic resonance imaging; Apparent diffusion coefficient; Transverse relaxation rate

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