Detection and classification of focal liver lesions in patients with colorectal cancer: Retrospective comparison of diffusion-weighted MR imaging and multi-slice CT

Matthias Eiber, Alexander A. Fingerle, Melanie Brügel, Jochen Gaa, Ernst J. Rummeny, Konstantin Holzapfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To compare the diagnostic performance of diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) with multi-slice CT (MS-CT) in the detection and classification of focal liver lesions in patients with colorectal cancer. Methods: In a retrospective study 68 patients who underwent DWI at 1.5 T (b-values of 50, 300 and 600 s/mm 2) and contrast-enhanced MS-CT were analysed by two radiologists blinded to the clinical results. Imaging results were correlated with intraoperative surgical and ultrasound findings (n = 24), imaging follow-up or PET (n = 44). Sensitivity of DWI and MS-CT in detection of focal liver lesions was compared on a per-lesion and a per-segment basis. Receiver operator-characteristic (ROC) curves to determine the diagnostic performance and the sensitivities of correctly identifying liver metastases on a segmental base were calculated. Results: For lesion detection, DWI was significantly superior to MS-CT both on a per-lesion (difference in sensitivities for reader 1 and 2 22.65% and 19.06%, p < 0.0001) and a per-segment basis (16.86% and 11.76%, p < 0.0001). Especially lesions smaller than 10 mm were better detected with DWI compared to MS-CT (difference 41.10% and 29.45%, p < 0.0001). ROC-analysis showed superiority for lesions classification (p < 0.0001) of DWI (AUC: 0.949 and 0.951) as compared to MS-CT (AUC: 0.879 and 0.892, p < 0.0001 and p = 0.005). DWI was able to filter out metastatic segments with a higher sensitivity (88.2 and 86.5%) compared to MS-CT (68.0 and 67.4%, p < 0.0001 and p = 0.005, respectively). Conclusion: Compared to MS-CT DWI is both more sensitive in the detection of liver lesions and more accurate in determining the extent of metastatic disease in patients with colorectal cancer and therefore might help to optimize therapeutic management in those patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-691
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI)
  • Focal liver lesions
  • Liver metastases
  • Multi-slice computed tomography (MS-CT)

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