Published online Aug 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i30.3544
Revised: May 20, 2011
Accepted: May 27, 2011
Published online: August 14, 2011
AIM: To investigate and review the contrast-enhanced multiple-phase computed tomography (CEMP CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients with pathologically confirmed hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (HEHE).
METHODS: Findings from imaging examinations in 8 patients (5 women and 3 men) with pathologically confirmed HEHE were retrospectively reviewed (CT images obtained from 7 patients and MR images obtained from 6 patients). The age of presentation varied from 27 years to 60 years (average age 39.8 years).
RESULTS: There were two types of HEHE: multifocal type (n = 7) and diffuse type (n = 1). In the multifocal-type cases, there were 74 lesions on CT and 28 lesions on MRI with 7 lesions found with diffusion weighted imaging; 18 (24.3%) of 74 lesions on plain CT and 26 (92.9%) of 28 lesions on pre-contrast MRI showed the target sign. On CEMP CT, 28 (37.8%) of 74 lesions appeared with the target sign and a progressive-enhancement rim and 9 (12.2%) of 74 lesions displayed progressive enhancement, maintaining a state of persistent enhancement. On CEMP MRI, 27 (96.4%) of 28 lesions appeared with the target sign with a progressive-enhancement rim and 28 (100%) of 28 lesions displayed progressive-enhancement, maintaining a state of persistent enhancement. In the diffuse-type cases, an enlarged liver was observed with a large nodule appearing with persistent enhancement on CEMP CT and MRI.
CONCLUSION: The most important imaging features of HEHE are the target sign and/or progressive enhancement with persistent enhancement on CEMP CT and MRI. MRI is advantageous over CT in displaying these imaging features.