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Alveolar echinococcosis of the liver: Diffusion-weighted MRI findings and potential role in lesion characterisation
European Journal of Radiology
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Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
PURPOSE: To report the diffusion-weighted MRI findings in alveolar echinococcosis (AE) of the liver and evaluate the potential role of apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) in the characterisation of lesions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively included 22 patients with 63 AE liver lesions (≥1cm), examined with 3-T liver MRI, including a free-breathing diffusion-weighted single-shot echo-planar imaging sequence (b-values=50, 300 and 600s/mm(2)). Two radiologists jointly assessed the following lesion features: size, location, presence of cystic and/or solid components (according to Kodama's classification system), relative contrast enhancement, and calcifications (on CT). The ADCtotal, ADCmin and ADCmax were measured in each lesion and the surrounding liver parenchyma. RESULTS: Three type 1, 19 type 2, 17 type 3, three type 4 and 21 type 5 lesions were identified. The mean (±SD) ADCtotal, ADCmin and ADCmax for all lesions were 1.73±0.50, 0.76±0.38 and 2.63±0.76×10(-3)mm(2)/s, respectively. The mean ADCtotal for type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4 and type 5 lesions were 1.97±1.01, 1.76±0.53, 1.73±0.41, 1.15±0.42 and 1.76±0.44×10(-3)mm(2)/s, respectively. No significant differences were found between the five lesion types, except for type 4 (p=0.0363). There was a significant correlation between the presence of a solid component and low ADCmin (r=0.39, p=0.0016), whereas an inverse correlation was found between the relative contrast enhancement and ADCtotal (r=-0.34, p=0.0072). CONCLUSION: The ADCs of AE lesions are relatively low compared to other cystic liver lesions, which may help in the differential diagnosis. Although ADCs are of little use to distinguish between the five lesion types, their low value reflects the underlying solid component.
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