Purpose: To determine the value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and CT arterial portography (CTAP) in detecting malignant liver lesions in cirrhosis patients.
Materials and methods: The radiological examinations (CT, MRI and CTAP) of 47 patients suffering from cirrhosis having undergone an orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTX) were analysed retrospectively. The number of detected liver lesions was compared with the results of the histopathological findings after OLTX.
Results: 13/21, 11/18 and 7/12 of the malignant lesions were detected by MRI, CT and CTAP respectively. In MRI one false positive case was shown, two in CT and three in CTAP. Almost the same lesions were identified by all three procedures. The examination of the liver with MRI and CT and CTAP did not bring additional information. Most of the lesions that were missed were less than 2 cm in diameter.
Conclusions: The rate of detection of HCC in patients with cirrhosis was about 60%. MRI and CT yielded similar results.