Purpose: To determine the correlations between hemodynamic parameters of hepatic flow measured with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and Doppler ultrasonography (US) and the severity of cirrhosis and portal hypertension.
Materials and methods: Forty-six patients referred for measurements of portal venous pressure (three with normal liver, 12 with chronic hepatitis, and 31 with cirrhosis [10 with Child-Pugh class A cirrhosis; 13 with class B cirrhosis; and eight with class C cirrhosis]) were included in the study. Apparent liver perfusion, apparent arterial and portal perfusion, portal fraction, distribution volume, and mean transit time were measured with dynamic contrast material-enhanced MR imaging. Portal velocity, portal flow, congestion index, right hepatic artery resistance index, and modified hepatic index were measured with Doppler US. Results in patients with cirrhosis and those without cirrhosis were compared with the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Correlations were assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients.
Results: With MR imaging, all flow parameters except distribution volume were significantly different between patients with and those without cirrhosis (P <.05). There was a significant correlation between all flow parameters measured with MR imaging and portal pressure (P <.02). Apparent arterial (P =.024) and portal (P <.001) perfusion, portal fraction (P <.001), and mean transit time (P =.004) were correlated with Child-Pugh class. Flow parameters measured with Doppler US did not differ significantly between patients with and those without cirrhosis. Only right hepatic arterial resistance (P <.007) and portal flow (P <.043) were weakly (r < 0.7) correlated with portal pressure. No Doppler US parameter was correlated with Child-Pugh class.
Conclusion: Hepatic flow parameters measured with MR imaging correlate with the severity of cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Doppler US parameters are only weakly correlated with portal pressure.
Copyright RSNA, 2003