MRI of hepatic lymphoma

Ralph Weissleder, David D. Stark, Guillermo Elizondo, Peter F. Hahn, Carolyn Compton, Sanjay Saini, Jack Wittenberg, Joseph T. Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Thirteen patients with biopsy proven hepatic lymphoma (2 Hodgkin, 11 Non-Hodgkin) and a control group of 15 patients with hepatic metastases were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively by MRI. Focal hepatic lymphoma was most reliably detected (eight of eight patients) and appeared hypointense relative to liver on T1 weighted (CNR - 7.4 ± 2.3) and hyperintense on T2 weighted (CNR + 8.4 ± 2.9) images. The mean T1 and T2 relaxation times of focal hepatic lymphoma (T1 = 832 ± 234 msec, T2 = 84 ± 16 ms) differed significantly from adjacent non-tumorous liver (T1 = 420 ± 121 ms, T2 = 51 ± 9 ms; p < 0.05), however CNR values and relaxation times were similar to those of hepatic metastases. Diffuse hepatic lymphoma (microscopic periportal infiltration) was undetectable by MRI in three patients by either morphologic features or quantitative criteria. A mixed pattern of hepatic lymphoma (focal lesions and diffuse infiltration) showed focal areas of slightly decreased signal intensity on T1 weighted images (CNR = -1.7 ± 0.4) while T2 weighted images revealed multiple regions of focal hyperintensity (CNR = +13.3 ± 8.4) superimposed on a diffusely hyperintense liver. Our experience demonstrates that either T1 or T2 weighted techniques are useful in detecting focal and that T2 weighted techniques are useful in detecting mixed hepatic lymphoma. Conventional image derived relaxation time measurements and quantitative parameters were of no additional diagnostic value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-681
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Liver
  • Lymphoma
  • MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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