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.
  • Keywords

  • CT, Cirrhosis, Fibrosis, Liver surface nodularity, MRI
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lo GC; Besa C; King MJ; Kang M; Stueck A; Thung S; Wagner M; Smith AD; Taouli B
  • Start Page

  • 95
  • End Page

  • 100
  • Volume

  • 4