Imaging Characteristics of Liver Metastases Overlooked at Contrast-Enhanced CT.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Apr;212(4):782-787. doi: 10.2214/AJR.18.20526. Epub 2019 Feb 19.
Nakai H1, Arizono S1, Isoda H1,2, Togashi K1.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the imaging characteristics of liver metastases overlooked at contrast-enhanced CT.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The records of 746 patients with a diagnosis of liver metastases from colorectal, breast, gastric, or lung cancer between November 2010 and September 2017 were reviewed. Images were reviewed when liver metastases were first diagnosed, and images from prior contrast-enhanced CT examinations were checked if available. These lesions were classified into two groups: missed lesions (those missed on the prior images) and detected lesions (those correctly identified and invisible on the prior images or there were no prior images). Tumor size, contrast-to-noise ratio, location, presence of coexisting liver cysts and hepatic steatosis, and indications for examination were compared between the groups. The t test and Fisher exact test were used to analyze the imaging characteristics of previously overlooked lesions.
RESULTS: The final analysis included 137 lesions, of which 68 were classified as missed. In univariate analysis, contrast-to-noise ratio was significantly lower in missed lesions (95% CI, 2.65 ± 0.24 vs 3.90 ± 0.23; p < 0.001). The proportion of subcapsular lesions (odds ratio, 3.44; p < 0.001), hepatic steatosis (odds ratio, 6.35; p = 0.007), and examination indication other than survey of malignant tumors (odds ratio, 9.07; p = 0.02) were significantly higher for missed lesions.
CONCLUSION: Liver metastases without sufficient contrast enhancement, those in patients with hepatic steatosis, those in subcapsular locations, and those found at examinations for indications other than to assess for tumors were significantly more likely to be overlooked.