Microvascular invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma: is it predictable with quantitative computed tomography parameters?
Abstract Objective: To investigate whether quantitative computed tomography (CT) measurements can predict microvascular invasion (MVI) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 200 cases of surgically proven HCCs in 125 consecutive patients evaluated between March 2010 and November 2017. We quantitatively measured regions of interest in lesions and adjacent areas of the liver on unenhanced CT scans, as well as in the arterial, portal venous, and equilibrium phases on contrast-enhanced CT scans. Enhancement profiles were analyzed and compared with histopathological references of MVI. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used in order to evaluate CT parameters as potential predictors of MVI. Results: Of the 200 HCCs, 77 (38.5%) showed evidence of MVI on histopathological analysis. There was no statistical difference between HCCs with MVI and those without, in terms of the percentage attenuation ratio in the portal venous phase (114.7 vs. 115.8) and equilibrium phase (126.7 vs. 128.2), as well as in terms of the relative washout ratio, also in the portal venous and equilibrium phases (15.0 vs. 8.2 and 31.4 vs. 26.3, respectively). Conclusion: Quantitative dynamic CT parameters measured in the preoperative period do not appear to correlate with MVI in HCC.