The contribution of proton spectroscopic (PS) imaging to magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the liver was assessed at 0.5 T in 55 patients with known or suspected hepatic malignancy. PS images were compared subjectively with T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo (SE) images for hepatic lesion detection and conspicuity. For hepatic metastases (n=27), PS images were equal to T1-weighted images in lesion detection in 17 patients but showed fewer lesions in five patients and false-negative results in two. When compared with T2-weighted images, PS images depicted more lesions in six patients, an equal number of lesions in 18, and fewer lesions in two. Hepatomas (n=8) were detected with each sequence in all patients. Hepatomas were often more conspicuous on PS images than on T2-weighted images; they were of equal conspicuity on PS and T1-weighted images in most cases. Whereas fatty infiltration (n=16) appeared on PS images as areas of low signal intensity similar to that of paraspinal muscle, it produced no detectable abnormality on either T1- or T2-weighted images. PS imaging is inferior to T1-weighted SE imaging in the detection of hepatic metastases. The major role of PS imaging at intermediate field strength is to differentiate focal fatty infiltration from hepatic metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging