Purpose: To investigate the factors associated with hepatobiliary phase (HBP) enhancement at gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to determine whether HBP images could be used to predict prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastasis (CRLM). Results: Of the 96 total nodules, 65 and 31 nodules were in the mixed and clearly hypointense groups, respectively. In the 55 nodules without preoperative chemotherapy, organic anionic transporting polypeptide 1B3 (OATP1B3) expression was a significant factor regarding the HBP enhancement (P=0.042). In this subgroup, nodules with OATP1B3 expression displayed a significantly higher relative intensity ratio on the HBP image (RIRpost) and relative enhancement ratio (RER) than those lacking this marker (P=0.024, 0.003, respectively). No significant factor was associated with the enhancement pattern in the chemotherapy group. The mixed hypointense group displayed worse survival rates (P=0.002). Materials and Methods: Ninety-six patients who underwent pre-operative liver MRI and surgical resection for CRLM from January 2010 to June 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. We qualitatively evaluated the HBP enhancement pattern of CRLMs and classified them into mixed and clearly hypointense groups. For quantitative measurement, the RIRpost and RER were analyzed. To investigate factors associated with HBP enhancement, tumor components (fibrosis, necrosis, and cellularity) and OATP1B3 expression were scored on a 4-point scale. Univariate and multivariate analyses were done to determine significant factors for visual enhancement and quantitative parameters. Conclusions: OATP1B3 expression is associated with mixed hypointense CRLMs without chemotherapy. Signal intensity on HBP has potential usefulness to predict prognosis in CRLMs.
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