Liver-specific magnetic resonance contrast medium in the evaluation of chronic liver disease
The hepatobiliary-specific contrast medium (gadoxetic acid – Primovist®) is primarily used to improve detection and characterization of focal hepatic lesions, such as in chronic liver disease patients with suspected hepatocellular carcinoma. Since the contrast medium is selectively taken up by functioning hepatocytes in the late hepatobiliary phase, it helps to detect typical hepatocellular carcinoma, which show low signal intensity on this phase. This imaging feature also assists in differentiating regenerative/dysplastic nodules from early hepatocellular carcinomas (with over 90% accuracy), as well as hypervascular hepatocellular carcinomas from arterial pseudo-enhancement foci. Future perspectives include its use in quantification of hepatic function and fibrosis.