Feasibility and reproducibility of liver surface nodularity quantification for the assessment of liver cirrhosis using CT and MRI

Academic Article


  • Purpose To assess intra-observer, inter-observer and inter-modality (CT vs. MRI) reproducibility of liver surface nodularity (LSN) scores measured with software used for detection of liver fibrosis. Methods This IRB-approved retrospective study included patients with both abdominal CT and MRI within 6 months of histopathologic sampling. Two independent observers used post-processing software to quantify LSN scores on axial non-contrast CT (NCT), axial contrast-enhanced CT (CECT), axial T2-weighted (T2W) HASTE, and axial and coronal post-gadoxetic acid T1-weighted (T1W) images obtained during the hepatobiliary phase (HBP). Ten slices were used to acquire the LSN scores. Intra-observer, inter-observer, and inter-modality (CT vs. MRI) reproducibility were assessed with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficients of variability (CV). Accuracy for detection of cirrhosis was evaluated for each technique. Results 26 patients (M/F 19/7, mean age 57 years), including 7 with cirrhosis (26.9%), were assessed. Technical failure occurred with NCT (1/23, 4.3%) and T2 HASTE (8/28, 28.6%). Intra-observer reproducibility was excellent for NCT, CECT, axial and coronal T1W HBP [ICC ≥ 0.92, CV ≤ 8%]. Inter-observer reproducibility was also excellent for NCT and CECT (ICC ≥ 0.95, CV ≤ 7.3%) and for coronal T1W HBP (ICC = 0.84, CV = 5.6%). There was fair to moderate agreement between CT and MRI (ICC 0.20–0.44). There were significant differences in mean LSN scores between non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients with NCT (2.6 vs. 4.2, p = 0.04) and T1W HBP (3.7 vs. 4.6; p = 0.01) images, with AUCs of 0.81 and 0.82, respectively. Conclusions LSN measurement is highly reproducible with NCT and post-contrast T1W HBP on MRI, with different results obtained between CT and MRI.
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    Author List

  • Lo GC; Besa C; King MJ; Kang M; Stueck A; Thung S; Wagner M; Smith AD; Taouli B
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  • 95
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  • 100
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  • 4