Hepatic hemangiomas and malignant tumors: improved differentiation with heavily T2-weighted conventional spin-echo MR imaging

Radiology. 1994 Oct;193(1):43-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.193.1.8090920.


Purpose: To determine whether hemangiomas and malignant tumors can be better differentiated at 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging with use of more heavily T2-weighted conventional spin-echo sequences.

Materials and methods: Eighty-three patients with focal liver lesions (50 malignant tumors, 24 hemangiomas, nine cysts) larger than 1 cm were studied with a 3,000/80, 160 sequence (repetition time msec/echo time [TE] msec). T2 relaxation times and lesion/liver signal intensity ratios at TEs of 80 and 160 msec were measured. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses of expert readers and quantitative measures were performed.

Results: T2 relaxation times demonstrated the best performance in distinguishing hemangiomas from malignant tumors (area under ROC curve = .99 +/- .01). Mean T2 times were 76 msec +/- 11 for malignant tumors, 142 msec +/- 40 for hemangiomas, and 341 msec +/- 38 for cysts. A cutoff T2 value of 112 msec allowed discrimination between hemangiomas and malignant tumors with a 97% accuracy, 100% sensitivity, and 92% specificity.

Conclusion: Hemangiomas and malignant tumors are better differentiated with use of T2 relaxation times obtained with a more heavily T2-weighted sequence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Cysts / epidemiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity