Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(7):668-674. doi:10.7150/ijms.17865 This issue

Research Paper

Diagnostic Value of Gadoxetic Acid-Enhanced MR Imaging to Distinguish HCA and Its Subtype from FNH: A Systematic Review

Yongfei Guo1, 2*, Wenjuan Li1*, Wenli Cai3, Yi Zhang1, Yijie Fang1, Guobin Hong1, 3✉

1. Department of Radiology, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519000, P. R. China;
2. Department of Radiology, Zhongshan Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Zhongshan 528400, P. R. China;
3. Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, 02114, USA.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Guo Y, Li W, Cai W, Zhang Y, Fang Y, Hong G. Diagnostic Value of Gadoxetic Acid-Enhanced MR Imaging to Distinguish HCA and Its Subtype from FNH: A Systematic Review. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(7):668-674. doi:10.7150/ijms.17865. Available from

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the diagnostic performance of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI) for differentiation of hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) and focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), as well as HCA classification by using the low signal intensity (SI) in the hepatobiliary phase (HBP).

Methods: A systematic process was used to review all published data in MEDLINE database about Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI applied to differentiation of HCA and FNH, and classification of HCA by using low SI in the HBP. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were calculated to assess the diagnostic value of low SI in the HBP.

Results: A review of 45 articles identified 10 eligible studies with a total of 288 HCA lesions. The pooled proportion of low SI in the HBP of HCA were 91% (95% CI: 0.81-0.97). In specific, the subtypes of HCA were 75% (95% CI: 0.64-0.85) for I-HCA, 100% (95% CI: 0.95-1.00) for H-HCA, 92% (95% CI: 0.70-1.00) for U-HCA, and 59% (95% CI: 0.00-1.00) for b-HCA, respectively. The pooled specificity and sensitivity of low SI in the HBP for distinguishing FNH from HCA were 95% (95% CI: 0.92-0.98) and 92% (95% CI: 0.87-0.96), respectively.

Conclusion: Low SI in the HBP of Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI is associated with higher accuracy for distinguishing HCA from FNH. However, the diagnostic accuracy may be overvalued, especially for the diagnosis of subtypes of b-HCA and I-HCA. Therefore, the risk factors and conventional imaging findings should be take into account simultaneously.

Keywords: Hepatic adenoma, Focal nodular hyperplasia, Gd-EOB-DTPA.