Hepatic hemangiomas: evaluation of enhancement patterns at dynamic MRI with gadoxetate disodium

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Apr;196(4):824-30. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5113.


Objective: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the enhancement patterns of hepatic hemangiomas on gadoxetate disodium.

Materials and methods: A total of 22 patients with 32 hepatic hemangiomas (23 typical type and nine high-flow type) in normal liver underwent gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI. Contrast-enhanced images were obtained before and after contrast injection, including arterial phase, portal phase, equilibrium phase, and three hepatobiliary phases (10, 15 and 20 minutes). Signal-to-phantom ratios of hemangiomas and the portal vein as well as lesion-to-liver contrast-to-phantom ratios were assessed.

Results: Mean signal-to-phantom ratios of all 32 hemangiomas showed the highest value on the arterial phase and subsequently decreased over time (p = 0.029 to p < 0.001). Mean lesion-to-liver contrast-to-phantom ratios of all 32 hemangiomas showed a positive value during the arterial phase and increasingly negative values at later time points (p = 0.001 to p < 0.001). The enhancement pattern of hemangiomas was equal to that of the portal vein at all time points. There was no significant difference in signal-to-phantom ratio between typical hemangiomas and high-flow hemangiomas at any time point.

Conclusion: Most hepatic hemangiomas showed hypointensity relative to surrounding liver parenchyma during the equilibrium phase and the hepatobiliary phase. In addition, hepatic hemangiomas showed a signal intensity matching the portal vein at all phases, a finding we believe may be characteristic for hepatic hemangiomas on gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR images.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Contrast Media
  • gadolinium ethoxybenzyl DTPA
  • Gadolinium DTPA