Benign Hepatic Nodules in Budd-Chiari Syndrome
Yoji Maetani 1 ; Kyo Itoh 2 ; Hiroto Egawa 3 ; Hironori Haga 4 ; Takaki Sakurai 5 ; Naoshi Nishida 6 ; Fumie Ametani 1 ; Toshiya Shibata 2 ; Takeshi Kubo 1 ; Koichi Tanaka 3 ; Junji Konishi 1
1 Department of Radiology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 54 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan, 606-8507.
2 Department of Radiology, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan, 606-8507.
3 Department of Transplantation Immunology and Transplant Surgery, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan, 606-8507.
4 Organ Transplantation Unit, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan, 606-8507.
5 Laboratory of Pathology, Kyoto Katsura Hospital, 17 Yamada Hirao-cho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.
6 Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan, 606-8507.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the imaging features of benign hepatic nodules in patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome and to correlate them with pathologic findings, with special attention placed on the presence of a central scar.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Imaging findings of 59 benign hepatic nodules in four patients with chronic Budd-Chiari syndrome were analyzed retrospectively, and radiologic— pathologic correlation was performed in three patients with 50 hepatic nodules who underwent liver transplantation. All patients underwent multiphasic helical CT. In three patients with 29 lesions, MR imaging, including a multiphasic dynamic study, was performed. The CT and MR imaging findings in these patients were compared with those of 103 small hepatocellular carcinomas in 56 other patients (54 of them displayed chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis associated with viral hepatitis but none had Budd-Chiari syndrome). Image analysis was performed by two radiologists with no knowledge of the diagnosis.
RESULTS: All patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome exhibited multiple benign nodules up to 3 cm in diameter, and 42 of 59 lesions were hypervascular. Microscopically, 15 of 32 nodules demonstrated a central scar; moreover, some nodules closely resembled focal nodular hyperplasia. Frequencies of hyperintensity on T1-weighted images (14/29 vs 25/103), hypointensity on T2-weighted images (7/29 vs 1/103), and the presence of a central scar (6/59 vs 1/103) were significantly higher in benign nodules than in hepatocellular carcinomas (p < 0.05; Fisher’s exact test). Moreover, for lesions larger than 1 cm, imaging studies revealed a central scar in six of 15 benign lesions.
CONCLUSION: Benign hepatic nodules in patients with in Budd-Chiari syndrome are usually small, multiple, and hypervascular. The presence of a central scar is a characteristic feature in those larger than 1 cm in diameter.