Ultrasound, CT, and MRI comparison in primary and secondary tumors of the liver

Walter L. Curati, Ariel Halevy, Robert N. Gibson, Denis H. Carr, Leslie H. Blumgart, Robert E. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thirty-five patients with surgically removed or percutaneous biopsy-proven tumors were examined by ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This retrospective study describes the appearance of the primary tumors and m'etastases and compares the sensitivity and specificity of the 3 imaging methods. Ultrasound, CT, and MRI examinations as well as clinical, operative, and/or histologic data were available for all 35 patients. Paramagnetic contrast agent gadolinium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) was used in 23 patients and a short TI inversion recovery MRI sequence was used in 23 patients, in addition to various spin echo MRI sequences. Thirteen patients were examined using both Gd-DTPA and the short TI inversion recovery sequence. Our comparative study-based on the following criteria: detection, size, location of the tumor, and portal vein involvement and bile duct dilatation - demonstrated an advantage of MRI over ultrasound in 16 of 35 cases, equal results in 17 of 35 cases and a disadvantage of MRI compared to ultrasound in 2 of 35 cases. With the identical criteria, MRI proved to be more informative than CT in 10 of 35 cases, equal in 21 of 35 cases, and less informative in 4 of 35 cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalGastrointestinal Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • CT, liver tumors
  • MRI, abdomen
  • MRI, paramagnetic contrast agents
  • Ultrasound, liver tumors


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