Non-hypervascular hepatobiliary phase hypointense nodules on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR can help determine the treatment method for HCC
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This study was conducted in order to evaluate whether the presence of nonhypervascular hepatobiliary phase (HBP) hypointense nodules can help determine the treatment method for single nodular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ≤ 3 cm.
This study was approved by the institutional review board. A total of 345 patients with single nodular HCC ≤ 3 cm underwent pretreatment gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR followed by hepatic resection (n = 123) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (n = 222). We retrospectively analyzed the results of tumor recurrence according to the presence of nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules at each treatment method.
Nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules were found in 18 of 123 patients treated by hepatic resection and in 63 of 222 patients who underwent RFA. The presence of nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules was a significant affecting factor for recurrence-free survival (RFS) after both hepatic resection (p = 0.004, hazard ratio [HR] = 2.75 [1.38–5.51]) and RFA (p = 0.004, HR = 1.78 [1.20–2.63]). In patients with nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules, 5-year RFS was 34.0% after hepatic resection, which was not significantly different from the 28.0% after RFA (p = 0.618). However, in patients without nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules, 5-year RFS was 65.0% after hepatic resection, which was significantly better than the 51.0% after RFA (p = 0.042), owing to significantly lower cumulative incidence of local tumor progression after hepatic resection (p < 0.001).
While the presence of nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR taken prior to treatment was a significant predictive factor of tumor recurrence after both hepatic resection and RFA, in patients without nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules, hepatic resection can provide significantly better RFS than RFA.
• The presence of nonhypervascular hepatobiliary phase (HBP) hypointense nodules was a significant risk factor for tumor recurrence after either hepatectomy or radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
• Hepatectomy provided significantly better recurrence-free survival than RFA in patients without nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules.
• In patients with nonhypervascular HBP hypointense nodules, recurrence-free survival after RFA was comparable to hepatectomy.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Ablation technique Hepatectomy Magnetic resonance imaging
Intrahepatic distant recurrence
Local tumor progression
The authors state that there are no grants or funds supporting this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Jeong Min Lee.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statistics and biometry
No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.
Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board.
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
• Performed at one institution
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