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Open AccessArticle

Liver Fibrosis Assessment with Diffusion-Weighted Imaging: Value of Liver Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Normalization Using the Spleen as a Reference Organ

1
Department of Radiology, Chonbuk National University Medical School and Hospital, Jeonju 54907, Korea
2
Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54907, Korea
3
Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju 54907, Korea
4
Department of Surgery, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 54907, Korea
5
Department of Radiology, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju 54907, Korea
6
Department of Pathology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 54907, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2019, 9(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9030107
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 27 August 2019 / Published: 28 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging-Histopathology Correlation)
Liver fibrosis staging is of great clinical importance because it is used to assess the severity of the underlying chronic liver disease. Among various imaging-based methods, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurement using diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has the potential to be used as an imaging biomarker for liver fibrosis assessment. In this study, we investigated the usefulness of liver ADC normalization using the spleen as a reference organ in liver fibrosis staging with 66 patients who underwent liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), transient elastography (TE), and surgical resection of a hepatic mass. ADC values of the liver (ADCliver) and spleen were analyzed, and the spleen was used for ADCliver normalization (nADCliver). ADCliver showed a weak negative correlation with TE (r = −0.246; p = 0.047) and fibrosis stage (r = −0.269; p = 0.029), while n ADCliver showed a moderate negative correlation with TE (r = −0.504; p < 0.001) and fibrosis stage (r = −0.579; p < 0.001). AUC values for nADCliver (0.777–0.875) were higher than those for ADCliver for each stage of fibrosis (0.596–0.713, p = 0.037–0.157). AUC values for TE (0.726–0.884) and nADCliver were not statistically different. In conclusion, normalized liver ADC can be useful in diagnosing liver fibrosis stage in patients with variable DWI acquisitions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibrosis; liver cirrhosis; spleen; diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance imaging fibrosis; liver cirrhosis; spleen; diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance imaging
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Shin, M.K.; Song, J.S.; Hwang, S.B.; Hwang, H.P.; Kim, Y.J.; Moon, W.S. Liver Fibrosis Assessment with Diffusion-Weighted Imaging: Value of Liver Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Normalization Using the Spleen as a Reference Organ. Diagnostics 2019, 9, 107.

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