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Three-Phase Helical Computed Tomographic Findings of Hepatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Pathologic Correlation With Revised WHO Classification

Kim, Ji Eun MD*; Lee, Won Jae MD*; Kim, Seung Hyun MD*; Rhim, Hyunchul MD*; Song, Hye Jong MD; Park, Cheol Keun MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: November/December 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 6 - p 697–702
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318231c6d8
Original Article

Objective To evaluate 3-phase helical computed tomographic (CT) findings of hepatic neuroendocrine tumors and to correlate them with pathologic diagnoses based on the revised World Health Organization classification.

Methods Over a 14-year period, we collected 38 patients with pathologically proven neuroendocrine tumors of the liver, either primary or metastatic, who had 3-phase helical CT scans. CT findings were evaluated for the morphologic and enhancement patterns (ie, hepatocellular carcinomalike, cholangiocarcinomalike, and combined patterns), and correlated those with pathologic diagnoses.

Results The morphologic patterns were variable regardless of the pathologic diagnoses, except necrosis (P = 0.024). For the enhancement pattern, almost half of the tumors showed hepatocellular carcinomalike pattern, and the other half showed cholangiocarcinomalike or combined patterns, without correlation between the enhancement pattern and pathologic diagnoses (P = 0.402).

Conclusions The CT features of hepatic neuroendocrine tumors were variable and did not correlate with their pathologic diagnoses. However, hepatic neuroendocrine tumors frequently show hepatocellular carcinomalike arterial enhancement, and often show cholangiocarcinomalike delayed enhancement.

From the *Department of Radiology and Center of Imaging Science, and †Department of Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Received for publication March 28, 2011; accepted August 8, 2011.

Reprints: Won Jae Lee, MD, Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Korea (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.