MRI Ancillary Features for LI-RADS Category 3 and 4 Observations: Improved Categorization to Indicate the Risk of Hepatic Malignancy

Yeun Yoon Kim, Jin Young Choi, Seung Up Kim, Myeongjee Lee, Mi Suk Park, Yong Eun Chung, Myeong Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ancillary features can help stratify malignancy risk in Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) category 3 (LR-3) and 4 (LR-4) observations. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This retrospective longitudinal study included 106 LR-3 or LR-4 observations on gadolinium-enhanced MRI obtained from January 2014 to December 2015 in 80 patients who were treatment naïve and at risk (mean age, 58.0 ± 10.7 [SD] years; 60 men). The presence of major and ancillary features, the category determined using only major features, and the final category adjusted by the application of ancillary features were retrospectively analyzed. MRI features were compared using generalized estimating equations, and cumulative incidence curves for malignancy were compared using log-rank tests with a resampling extension. RESULTS. At 6-month follow-up, the cumulative incidence of observations initially categorized as LR-4, observations upgraded to LR-4, observations initially categorized as LR-3, and observations downgraded to LR-3 were 62.5%, 29.7%, 6.2%, and 0%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of malignancy did not differ between observations categorized by major feature as LR-3 and LR-4 (p = 0.12), but was higher in final observations categorized as LR-4 than in those categorized as LR-3 (p < 0.001). Among observations categorized by major feature as LR-3, the cumulative incidence of malignancy was higher in observations upgraded to LR-4 than in observations that were initially graded as LR-3 (p = 0.03), which showed differences in the frequency of restricted diffusion and mild-to-moderate T2-weighted hyperintensity (p < 0.001 for both). CONCLUSION. Final categories determined with ancillary features, instead of categories determined by major features only, can help indicate malignancy risk in LR-3 and LR-4 observations on MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1354-1362
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Roentgen Ray Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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