Objective: To evaluate the imaging features of hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (HEH) on multiphasic CT, MR, and FDG-PET-CT.
Methods: Bi-institutional review identified 67 adults (mean age, 47 years; 23 M/44 F) with pathologically proven HEH and pretreatment multiphasic CT (n = 67) and/or MR (n = 30) and/or FDG-PET-CT (n = 13).
Results: HEHs were multifocal in 88% (59/67). Mean size of the dominant mass was 4.1 cm (range, 1.4-19 cm). The tumors were located in the peripheral, subcapsular regions of the liver in 96% (64/67). Capsular retraction was present in 81% (54/67 cases) and tumors were coalescent in 61% (41/67). HEH demonstrated peripheral ring enhancement on arterial phase imaging in 33% (21/64) and target appearance on the portal venous phase in 69% (46/67). Persistent peripheral enhancement on the delayed phase was seen in 49% (31/63). On MR, multilayered target appearance was seen on the T2-weighted sequences in 67% (20/30) and on the diffusion-weighted sequences in 61% (11/18). Target appearance on hepatobiliary phase of MRI was seen in 57% (4/7). On pre-therapy FDG-PET-CT, increased FDG uptake above the background liver parenchyma was seen in 62% (8/13).
Conclusion: HEHs typically manifest as multifocal, coalescent hepatic nodules in peripheral subcapsular location, with associated capsular retraction. Peripheral arterial ring enhancement and target appearance on portal venous phase are commonly seen on CT. Similarly, multilayered target appearance correlating with its histopathological composition is typically seen on multiple sequences of MR including T2-weighted, diffusion-weighted, and dynamic contrast-enhanced multiphasic MR.
Key points: • Hepatic epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas manifest on CT and MR as multifocal, coalescent hepatic nodules in peripheral subcapsular location, with associated capsular retraction. • Enhancement pattern on contrast-enhanced CT and MR can vary but peripheral ring enhancement on arterial phase and target appearance on portal venous phase are commonly seen. • Retrospective two-center study showed that cross-sectional imaging may help in the diagnosis.
Keywords: Diagnostic imaging; Hemangioendothelioma; Liver; Magnetic resonance imaging.