IDEAL-IQ in an oncologic population: Meeting the challenge of concomitant liver fat and liver iron

Sarah Eskreis-Winkler, Giuseppe Corrias, Serena Monti, Junting Zheng, Marinela Capanu, Simone Krebs, Maggie Fung, Scott Reeder, Lorenzo Mannelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer patients often have a history of chemotherapy, putting them at increased risk of liver toxicity and pancytopenia, leading to elevated liver fat and elevated liver iron respectively. T1-in-and-out-of-phase, the conventional MR technique for liver fat assessment, fails to detect elevated liver fat in the presence of concomitantly elevated liver iron. IDEAL-IQ is a more recently introduced MR fat quantification method that corrects for multiple confounding factors, including elevated liver iron. Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board with a waiver for informed consent. We reviewed the MRI studies of 50 cancer patients (30 males, 20 females, 50-78 years old) whose exams included (1) T1-in-and-out-of-phase, (2) IDEAL-IQ, and (3) T2∗mapping. Two readers independently assessed fat and iron content from conventional and IDEAL-IQ MR methods. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was estimated to evaluate agreement between conventional MRI and IDEAL-IQ in measuring R2∗level (a surrogate for iron level), and in measuring fat level. Agreement between the two readers was also assessed. Wilcoxon signed rank test was employed to compare iron level and fat fraction between conventional MRI and IDEAL-IQ. Results: Twenty percent of patients had both elevated liver iron and moderate/severe hepatic steatosis. Across all patients, there was high agreement between readers for IDEAL-IQ fat fraction (ICC = 0.957) and IDEAL R2∗(ICC = 0.971) measurements, but lower agreement for conventional fat fraction measurements (ICC = 0.626). The fat fractions calculated with IOP were statistically significantly different from those calculated with IDEAL-IQ (reader 1: p < 0.001, reader 2: p < 0.001). Conclusion: Fat measurements using IDEAL-IQ and IOP diverged in patients with concomitantly elevated liver fat and liver iron. Given prior work validating IDEAL-IQ, these diverging measurements indicate that IOP is inadequate to screen for hepatic steatosis in our cancer population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
JournalCancer Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2018


  • Chemotherapy
  • Fat fraction
  • Liver
  • Oncologic imaging
  • PDFF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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