OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) in the detection of focal hepatic lesions on MR images. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. The study included 21 patients with 115 focal hepatic lesions and eight patients without focal hepatic lesions. T1- and T2-weighted MR images were obtained at 1.5 T before and 60 min after the end of injection of an SPIO agent. Contrast-enhanced CT scans were obtained in all patients within 10 days after MR imaging. The effect of SPIO on the signal intensity of the liver and spleen was assessed by using quantitative analysis of the region of interest. Efficacy was evaluated by using multiple criteria and unenhanced and SPIO-enhanced images. Evaluations included subjective assessment of image quality, counting the number of lesions detected, and statistical analysis of quantitative changes in the signal intensity of lesions and of normal liver. RESULTS. By all criteria, SPIO- enhanced T2-weighted MR images were superior to unenhanced T2-weighted images and to contrast-enhanced CT scans. Conversely, by all criteria, SPIO-enhanced T1-weighted MR images were worse than unenhanced T1-weighted images and contrast-enhanced CT scans. The mean lesion-to-liver contrast on T2-weighted images was 317% on unenhanced images and 1745% on SPIO-enhanced images. For T1-weighted, the mean contrast was 26% on unenhanced images and 18% on SPIO- enhanced images. CONCLUSION. SPIO is an efficacious contrast agent for the detection of focal hepatic lesions when T2-weighted MR images are used.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging