Aim: Two new imaging modalities have been developed recently that are directed at the focal liver lesions: gadolinium ethoxybenzyl diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Sonazoid contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS). We investigated the usefulness of these modalities for the diagnosis of small (<2 cm), well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: A total of 15 nodules from 13 patients, which were histologically diagnosed as well-differentiated HCC, were subjected to this study. Lesions that showed hypervascularity in the arterial phase and washout in the portal or late non-hemodynamic phase were regarded as HCC in the dynamic studies of all imaging modalities.
Results: By multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), six of 15 (40%) nodules were diagnosed as HCC. Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI diagnosed HCC in nine of the 15 (60%) nodules. Of the nine nodules that were not diagnosed by MDCT, four could be diagnosed by Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI. In Sonazoid CEUS, 10 of 15 nodules (67%) were diagnosed as HCC. Four of nine nodules that could not be diagnosed as HCC by MDCT, were diagnosed by Sonazoid CEUS. A total of 11 of the 15 (73%) nodules were diagnosed as HCC by Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI and Sonazoid CEUS in addition to MDCT.
Conclusion: Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI and Sonazoid CEUS had greater diagnostic value for small, well-differentiated HCC than did conventional MDCT.