Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England)

MR imaging in hepatocellular carcinoma: correlations between MRI features and molecular marker VEGF.

PMID 25367856


The aim of this paper was to investigate the correlations between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thirty-six patients with HCC included in this study underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging and diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Signal intensity characteristics of HCCs were reviewed independently by two experienced radiologists. ADC maps were automatically computed. VEGF expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. The grades of the VEGF expression were correlated inversely with the ADC values of the HCCs (r = -0.435, p = 0.008). Intensity heterogeneity correlated with VEGF expression (r = 0.571, p = 0.039). There is a significant correlation between the intensity of arterial enhancement and VEGF expression (r = -0.386, p = 0.02). However, no correlation was found between the VEGF grades and the intensity of enhancement in the hepatic portal venous and late phases, as well as equilibrium phase. Our results indicate that ADC value on DW-MRI, the signal intensity in arterial phase and intensity heterogeneity correlate with the degree of VEGF expression in hepatocellular carcinomas.