alexa MRI of carcinoid tumors: spectrum of appearances in the gastrointestinal tract and liver.


Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System

Author(s): Bader TR, Semelka RC, Chiu VC, Armao DM, Woosley JT

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Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate the spectrum of appearances of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to elucidate patterns of appearances of carcinoid liver metastases on precontrast and postgadolinium images. The MR examinations of 29 patients (11 men, 18 women; age range, 33-87 years) with histologically confirmed gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, representing our complete 9.5 years of experience with this entity, were retrospectively reviewed. Twelve patients had MR examinations prior to resection or biopsy of the primary tumor (preoperative group); 17 patients were imaged postsurgically (postoperative group). All MR studies were performed at 1.5 T and comprised T1-weighted spoiled gradient echo (SGE), T2-weighted fat-suppressed turbo spin echo, HASTE, and serial postgadolinium T1-weighted SGE sequences without and with fat suppression. Morphology, signal intensity, and contrast enhancement of primary tumors and of metastases to the mesentery, peritoneum, and liver were evaluated. Primary tumors were visualized in 8 of 12 patients and best demonstrated on postgadolinium T1-weighted fat-suppressed images. The appearance of primary tumors was a nodular mass originating from the bowel wall (4 of 12 patients) or regional uniform bowel wall thickening (4 of 12 patients) with moderate intense enhancement on postgadolinium images. In 4 of 12 patients the primary tumor was prospectively not seen. Mesenteric metastases, seen in eight patients, presented as nodular masses and were associated with mesenteric stranding in seven patients. A total of 156 liver metastases were evaluated in 16 patients. On precontrast T1- and T2-weighted images, 117 metastases (75\%) were hypointense and hyperintense, respectively. A total of 146 metastases (94\%) were hypervascular, showing moderate intense enhancement during the hepatic arterial phase, and 9 metastases (6\%) were hypovascular. Twenty-three metastases (15\%) were visible only on immediate postgadolinium images. MRI is able to demonstrate findings in carcinoid tumors, including the primary tumor, mesenteric metastases, and liver metastases. Liver metastases are commonly hypervascular and may be demonstrable only on immediate postgadolinium images. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in J Magn Reson Imaging and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System

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