Pre-treatment estimation of future remnant liver function using gadoxetic acid MRI in patients with HCC

J Hepatol. 2016 Dec;65(6):1155-1162. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.07.024. Epub 2016 Jul 28.


Background & aims: This study aimed to determine whether the predicted remnant liver function on dynamic hepatocyte-specific contrast media-enhanced magnetic resonance (DHCE-MR) imaging correlates with the results of the indocyanin green retention test (ICG R15) after hepatic resection or radiofrequency ablation (RFA).

Methods: This prospective multicenter study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of each hospital. Informed consents were obtained from all. DHCE-MRI and ICG R15 were performed in 57 patients scheduled to undergo hepatectomy or RFA for hepatocellular carcinoma, once before treatment and repeated on post-treatment day 3. In nine donors and three recipients, DHCE-MRI and ICG R15 were performed only preoperatively. The predicted remnant liver function (HEFml) was estimated using the hepatic extraction fraction (HEF) multiplied by the remnant liver volume, and compared with post-treatment ICG R15. Intra-individual heterogeneity of HEF was assessed using pooled coefficients of variation (CV) among hepatic segments. Finally, development of post-treatment hepatic failure was assessed according to the 50-50 criteria on post-treatment day 5.

Results: Predicted remnant HEFml showed a negative correlation with post-treatment ICG R15 (r=-0.45, p=0.001), whereas liver volume did not (p>0.05). There were significant correlations between pre-treatment HEFml and pre-treatment ICG R15 (r=-0.33, p=0.006) and between post-treatment HEFml and post-treatment ICG R15 (r=-0.54, p<0.001). Pooled CV among segmental HEFs was 12.6%. No patients showed post-treatment liver failure on post-treatment day 5.

Conclusions: DHCE-MRI using Gd-EOB-DTPA was able to provide both global and segmental liver function information, and post-treatment remnant liver function predicted on pre-treatment DHCE-MRI showed a significant negative correlation with post-treatment ICG R15.

Lay summary: Post-treatment liver function could be predicted at pre-treatment DHCE-MRI. Liver function was heterogeneous among the liver segments. Liver anatomy, disease extent, and underlying liver function can be assessed in one DHCE-MRI examination.

Clinical trial number: number, NCT01490203.

Keywords: Hepatectomy; Hepatic extraction fraction; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver function test; Radiofrequency ablation.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular*
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Liver
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prospective Studies


  • gadolinium ethoxybenzyl DTPA
  • Gadolinium DTPA

Associated data