Imaging-based evaluation of liver function: comparison of ⁹⁹mTc-mebrofenin hepatobiliary scintigraphy and Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI

Eur Radiol. 2015 May;25(5):1384-91. doi: 10.1007/s00330-014-3536-8. Epub 2014 Dec 2.


Objectives: To compare Gd-EOB-enhanced MRI and (99m)Tc-mebrofenin hepatobiliary scintigraphy (HBS) as imaging-based liver function tests for separate evaluation of right (RLL) and left liver lobe (LLL) function.

Methods: Fourteen patients underwent Gd-EOB-enhanced MRI and (99m)Tc-mebrofenin HBS after portal vein embolization within 24 h. Relative enhancement (RE) and hepatic uptake index (HUI) were determined from MRI; and T max, T 1/2 and mebrofenin uptake were determined from HBS, all values separately for RLL and LLL.

Results: Mebrofenin uptake correlated significantly with HUI and RE for both liver lobes. There was strong correlation of mebrofenin uptake with HUI for RLL (r (2) = 0.802, p = 0.001) and RE for LLL (r (2) = 0.704, p = 0.005) and moderate correlation with HUI for LLL (r (2) = 0.560, p = 0.037) and RE for RLL (r (2) = 0.620, p = 0.018). Correlating the percentage share of RLL function derived from MRI (with HUI) with the percentage of RLL function derived from mebrofenin uptake revealed a strong correlation (r (2) = 0.775, p = 0.002).

Conclusions: Both RE and HUI correlate with mebrofenin uptake in HBS. The results suggest that Gd-EOB-enhanced MRI and (99m)Tc-mebrofenin HBS may equally be used to separately determine right and left liver lobe function.

Key points: • Information about liver function can be acquired with routine Gd-EOB-MRI. • Gd-EOB-MRI and (99m) Tc-mebrofenin HBS show elevated function of non-embolized lobe. • Gd-EOB-MRI and (99m) Tc-mebrofenin HBS can determine lobar liver function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Contrast Media*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA*
  • Glycine
  • Humans
  • Imino Acids*
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Contrast Media
  • Imino Acids
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • gadolinium ethoxybenzyl DTPA
  • technetium Tc 99m mebrofenin
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Glycine