European radiology

Radiologic-pathologic analysis of quantitative 3D tumour enhancement on contrast-enhanced MR imaging: a study of ROI placement.

PMID 25994198


To investigate the influence of region-of-interest (ROI) placement on 3D tumour enhancement [Quantitative European Association for the Study of the Liver (qEASL)] in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Phase 1: 40 HCC patients had nine ROIs placed by one reader using systematic techniques (3 ipsilateral to the lesion, 3 contralateral to the lesion, and 3 dispersed throughout the liver) and qEASL variance was measured. Intra-class correlations were computed. Phase 2: 15 HCC patients with histosegmentation were selected. Six ROIs were systematically placed by AC (3 ROIs ipsilateral and 3 ROIs contralateral to the lesion). Three ROIs were placed by 2 radiologists. qEASL values were compared to histopathology by Pearson's correlation, linear regression, and median difference. Phase 1: The dispersed method (abandoned in phase 2) had low consistency and high variance. Phase 2: qEASL correlated strongly with pathology in systematic methods [Pearson's correlation coefficient = 0.886 (ipsilateral) and 0.727 (contralateral)] and in clinical methods (0.625 and 0.879). However, ipsilateral placement matched best with pathology (median difference: 5.4 %; correlation: 0.89; regression CI: [0.904, 0.1409]). qEASL is a robust method with comparable values among tested placements. Ipsilateral placement showed high consistency and better pathological correlation. Ipsilateral and contralateral ROI placement produces high consistency and low variance. Both ROI placement methods produce qEASL values that correlate well with histopathology. Ipsilateral ROI placement produces best correlation to pathology along with high consistency.