Clinical evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging flowmetry of portal and hepatic veins in patients following hepatectomy


Atsushi Nanashima, MD, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8501, Japan.
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Abstract: Background: Hepatic blood flow was associated with degree of hepatic damage. Measurements of blood flow using ultrasonography (US) may vary due to any observer's and patient's conditions. The utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) flowmetry in portal and hepatic veins was assessed.

Patients and methods: Using the phase-contrast method, the mean flow velocity of portal (PVF) and hepatic vein (HVF) were determined by MRI and US in 75 consecutive patients with liver diseases, including 58 patients undergoing hepatectomy. The correlations between these parameters and clinicopathological findings were examined.

Results: PVF and HVF measured by MRI flowmetry were 12.8±4.5 and 14.7±5.3 cm/s, respectively. There was no significant correlation of both flows between MRI and US. PVF correlated significantly with portal pressure (r=−0.722; P<0.05). There was a negative correlation between HVF and histological activity index score (r=−0.366; P<0.05). PVF and HVF were lower in patients with cirrhosis and higher staging score (2–4) and PVF was lower in patients with higher grading score (2–3; P<0.05). PVF and HVF were not significantly associated with postoperative complications.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that MRI flowmetry is a potentially useful tool for measurement of hepatic blood flow and recommend its use for estimation of liver cirrhosis-associated impairment.