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Solid Organizing Hepatic Abscesses Mimic Hepatic Tumor: Multiphasic Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings With Histopathologic Correlation

Kim, Young Kon MD, PhD*; Kim, Chong Soo MD, PhD*; Lee, Jeong Min MD, PhD; Ko, Seog Wan MD, PhD*; Moon, Woo Sung MD, PhD; Yu, Hee Chul MD, PhD§

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: March-April 2006 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 189-196
Abdominal Imaging: Original Article

Objective: To describe the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of solid organizing hepatic abscesses and correlate them with the pathologic findings.

Methods: Ten patients with 10 pathologically proven solid organizing hepatic abscesses who underwent 3-phase CT (n = 10) or MRI (n = 7) were enrolled in this study. Images were retrospectively analyzed by consensus of 2 radiologists for attenuation (signal intensity), shape, and margin of the lesions as well as for their enhancement patterns. Their imaging findings were correlated with their pathologic findings.

Results: The main imaging finding on CT or MRI was the well-defined target appearance of a central enhancing area with a low-attenuation (signal intensity) rim on arterial and portal phases. On the delayed phase, most of lesions showed slightly low attenuation (signal intensity) with an enhancing rim, and 1 showed diffuse enhancement. Pathologically, the central areas and peripheral rims corresponded to granulation tissue and fibrosis, respectively. Nine lesions demonstrated a tiny necrotic cystic portion in the center.

Conclusion: The target appearance of solid organizing hepatic abscesses on CT and MRI can be helpful in differentiating them from other focal liver lesions. These imaging findings are well correlated with the pathologic findings.

From the *Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chonbuk National University Hospital and Medical School, JeonJu, South Korea; †Department of Radiology and Institute of Radiation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; ‡Department of Pathology and Center for Healthcare Technology Development, Chonbuk National University Hospital, JeonJu, South Korea and §Medical Department of General Surgery, Chonbuk National University Hospital and Medical School, JeonJu, South Korea.

Reprints: Dr. Young Kon Kim, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chonbuk National University Hospital and Medical School, Keum Am Dong, JeonJu, South Korea (e-mail:

© 2006 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins