HCC may behave differently according to the degree of differentiation of the tumor. Well-differentiated tumors may show some uptake and retention of these contrast agents (Fig. 3), whereas poorly differentiated tumors usually will not. Therefore, before using these agents, one should have a thorough understanding of selleck chemical the pharmacokinetics in the setting of cirrhosis. A common problem that arises in clinical practice is the differentiation of FNH and HA. There are limited data on the use of these agents in differentiating these two masses. Using gadobenate dimeglumine, Grazioli et al.7 showed that 96.9% of 128 FNHs were hyperintense or isointense during the delayed hepatocyte phase, whereas 100%
of 107 adenomas were hypointense. In a smaller study assessing several types of tumors with gadoxetate disodium, Hupperts et al.14 found in three cases that FNH showed heterogeneous enhancement during the delayed hepatic phase. Both adenomas in the study showed hyperenhancement; one was heterogeneous, and the other was homogeneous.
Therefore, further studies are needed to understand why gadoxetate disodium uptake occurs in some adenomas. Poorly functioning hepatocytes, which appear during cirrhosis and biliary obstruction (bilirubin level > 3 mg/dL), may lead to limitations in the usefulness of these agents due to poor hepatic uptake and excretion. Thus, these contrast agents may not be helpful in detecting tumors in deeply jaundiced patients and in many patients LY2157299 nmr with cirrhosis. The role of these agents in the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma is also unclear. Frequently, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma may be ill defined and difficult to detect or quantitate because of poorly marginated borders. The ability of gadoxetate disodium to provide intense hepatic enhancement provides a theoretical advantage over conventional contrast
agents for improving the conspicuity of cholangiocarcinoma. However, because hilar cholangiocarcinoma frequently causes biliary obstruction, there may be many cases in which the obstruction and the elevated bilirubin level limit the use of gadoxetate disodium. All of the gadolinium agents have similar side effects that rarely occur, including nausea, headache, and allergic reactions. learn more The administration of gadolinium should be avoided in individuals with impaired renal function and a low estimated glomerular filtration rate to reduce the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Theoretically, gadolinium agents that have more stability or have biliary excretion may be less likely to induce NSF. Both gadoxetate disodium and gadobenate dimeglumine are more stable than the extracellular agents and are excreted through the biliary system. However, there are currently no scientific data to confirm that these agents reduce the risk of development of NSF. In this case, MRI with either gadobenate dimeglumine or gadoxetate disodium would be recommended to help in differentiating between FNH and adenoma (Fig. 1B-D).