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Small ‘‘indeterminate’’ lesions on CT of the liver: a follow-up study of stability.

Robinson, P.J., Arnold, P. and Wilson, D. (2003) Small ‘‘indeterminate’’ lesions on CT of the liver: a follow-up study of stability. The British Journal of Radiology, 76 (912). pp. 866-874. ISSN 1748-880X


Distinguishing between small benign malformations in the liver and early metastatic disease remains difficult. We identified a group of 115 patients with known or suspected malignant disease who had ‘‘indeterminate’’ small liver lesions and who underwent 2–16 CT examinations (median 5) over a follow up period of 6–60 months (median 16). The size, shape, edge, homogeneity and attenuation of each of these lesions was assessed. The lesions were classified by their behaviour on follow up CT as either stable (79%) or unstable (21%). The unstable lesions (n562) included 37 that grew larger and 25 that became smaller or disappeared in patients undergoing anti-tumour therapy. Image features predictive of stable behaviour were small size and sharp edge. Heterogeneity and soft tissue attenuation were significantly associated with unstable behaviour, but these features were seen in only a small minority of cases. Shape had no predictive value. A logistic regression model was constructed based on size and edge to allow an estimate to be made of the likelihood of an individual lesion being unstable. In patients with known or suspected malignant disease, the majority of isolated small liver lesions found on CT are benign. Although size under 5 mm and a sharp margin are favourable features, this appearance does not exclude malignancy.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2003 British Institute of Radiology
Keywords: computed tomography; hepatic imaging; hepatic neoplasms
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds) > Imaging Science (Leeds)
Depositing User: Paul M Arnold
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2014 04:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr/99569888
Status: Published
Publisher: The British Institute of Radiology
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1259/bjr/99569888
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1639

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