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A total of 124 lesions from 1 to 6cm in diameter, including 31 cavernous hemangiomas, 32 metastases and 61 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) were analyzed to study the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 0.5 Tesla to differentiate focal hepatic lesions on the basis of qualitative criteria. Each focal hepatic lesion was assessed for shape, internal architecture and signal intensity relative to normal liver parenchyma. While all cavernous hemangiomas and metastases except one lesion could be detected, detection rate of HCC was significantly inferior to that of the other two diseases. A tumor capsule and a hyperintense focus on T1-weighted images were demonstrated in only HCC lesions in strong contrast with the other two diseases; however, metastases with slow-growing characteristics or subacute hematoma may appear as similar images. Cavernous hemangiomas appeared markedly hyperintense on T2-weighted images in 23 of 31 lesions, but one metastasis and one HCC had similar images. A multivariate analysis of several MRI resulted in the following mean discriminant scores: cavernous hemangioma, -1.2652; metastasis, 0.1830; and HCC, 0.7138. It appeared to be possible to differentiate the three diseases with 84.4 percent accuracy.
magnetic resonance imaging
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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