Copyright © Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2010 Jul;28(6) doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2010.03.005. Epub 2010 Apr 27.
The purpose of this study is to determine the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and patient characteristics in subjects with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that exhibit rapid progression.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In this unblinded retrospective study, initial and follow up MR images were reviewed, before and after rapid progression of HCC, respectively. Rapid progression was defined as a lesion <3 cm which exhibited >3 cm increase in one year or 2 cm increase in 6 months. Patient characteristics and MRI findings were determined using clinical information from the institution clinical information system and records from the Radiology and Pathology Departments, Hepatology Division and Liver Transplant Service of the Department of Medicine.
Seven individuals were identified with HCC that showed rapid progression. Five of the patients had underlying hepatitis C, one had alcoholic hepatitis, and one had immunosuppression due to liver transplantation. On initial MRI, six patients had early intense ring enhancing lesions, which rapidly progressed in size. Five patients died within 6 months, one within 1 year after progression despite treatment. Six of the seven patients also had multiple other liver nodules on initial MRI; those that showed ring enhancement rapidly progressed but those without, did not show rapid progression.
Patients with rapidly progressive HCC had underlying hepatitis C and intense ring enhancement on initial MRI. This group of patients should be evaluated further to determine if they might benefit from early intervention.