PURPOSE: To analyze superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-mediated hepatic signal intensity change in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic liver and to investigate the relationship between pulse sequence effects in SPIO-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for hepatic cirrhosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve patients with and 12 patients without cirrhosis underwent T2-weighted fast spin-echo, T2*-weighted gradient-echo (GRE), and T1-weighted GRE MR imaging before and twice (early and late phase) after SPIO administration. To assess the effect of SPIO, postcontrast relative signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) changes were statistically analyzed with repeated measurements analysis of variance for each pulse sequence. RESULTS: No interaction was shown between groups and data time points for any pulse sequence. There was no significant difference in mean hepatic relative SNR change on T2-weighted fast spin-echo images between the cirrhotic group and noncirrhotic group (-38.6% and -40.7%, early phase; -42.2% and -49.6%, late phase, respectively). For GRE images, statistically significant differences in mean hepatic relative SNR change were found between the cirrhotic group and noncirrhotic group (-14.2% and -44.5%, early phase; -28.5% and -56.4%, late phase on T2*-weighted GRE images (P < .001); 31.8% and 12.9%, early phase; 23.8% and 2.2%, late phase on T1-weighted GRE images (P < .05), respectively. CONCLUSION: Decreased overall phagocytic activity in cirrhotic liver is more likely due to Kupffer cell dysfunction than to Kupffer cell depletion, since magnetic susceptibility effects on T2*-weighted GRE images depend on intracellular SPIO cluster size.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging