Abbreviated mri protocol for the assessment of ablated area in hcc patients

Vincenza Granata, Roberta Grassi, Roberta Fusco, Sergio Venanzio Setola, Andrea Belli, Mauro Piccirillo, Silvia Pradella, Marzia Giordano, Salvatore Cappabianca, Luca Brunese, Roberto Grassi, Antonella Petrillo, Francesco Izzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Liver Imaging Reporting and Data Systems (LI-RADS) Treatment Response Algorithm (TRA) was created to provide a standardized assessment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following loco regional therapy. The aim of this study was to compare sensitivity of standard MRI protocol versus abbreviated protocol (only T1-Weigthed fat suppressed (FS) sequences pre-and post-contrast phase) in the detection of ablated area according to LI-RADS Treatment Response (LR-TR) categories. Methods: From January 2015 to June 2020, we selected 64 patients with HCC, who underwent Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or Microwave ablation (MWA) treatment. According to inclusion criteria, 136 pathologically proven treated HCC (median 2, range 1–3 per patient; mean size 20.0 mm; range 15–30 mm) in 58 patients (26 women, 32 men; median age, 74 years; range, 62–83 years) comprised our study population. For each ablated area, abbreviated protocol, and standard Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies were independently and blindly assessed in random order within and between three expert radiologists. Each radiologist assessed the ablated area by using the following categories: “LR-TR Non-viable” = 1; “LR-TR Equivocal” = 2 and “LR-TR Viable” = 0. Results: According to the concordance between MRI and Contrast enhancement ultrasound (CEUS) among 136 treated HCCs, 115 lesions were assessed as non-viable or totally ablate and 21 as viable or partially ablate. The accuracy for standard MRI protocol and abbreviated MRI protocol for predicting pathologic tumor viability of a consensus reading was 98.6% (sensitivity = 100%; specificity = 98.3%; positive predictive value = 91.3% and negative predictive value = 100%). No differences were found in sensitivity or specificity between standard MRI LR-TR viable and abbreviated MRI LR-TR viable categories (p value > 0.05 at McNemar test). Conclusion: The abbreviated dynamic protocol showed similar diagnostic accuracy to conventional MRI study in the assessment of treated HCCs, with a reduction of the acquisition study time of 30% respect to conventional MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3598
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Ablation treatment
  • Contrast enhancement MRI
  • DWI
  • HCC
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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