Visiting Assistant Professor Utaroh Motosugi, M.D., presented a Grand Rounds lecture focusing on the advantages gadoxetic acid provides over traditional contrast agents in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Conventionally, HCC is diagnosed using an MRI or CT scan using a contrast agent such as Magnevist, and provides a clear image in the arterial and portal venous (PV) stages of imaging. However, Magnevist is limited by its inability to enter liver cells. Instead it collects in intercellular space, restricting the ability to view liver parenchyma in the hepatobiliary (HB) phase of imaging.
Gadoxetic acid, however, can enter hepatocytes, causing even the smallest of lesions to appear as black spots during the HB phase. “If it’s black in the hepatobiliary phase, it should be malignant,” Motosugi said.
Because this contrast agent penetrates the liver cells, the picture quality of liver parenchyma increases over time, unlike Magnevist whose image quality degrades after several minutes.
This increase in sensitivity can aid clinical staff in identifying hypovascular tumors, which are difficult to diagnose in the arterial and PV phases of imaging.