Purpose: To elucidate whether the attenuation of hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) on the portal phase of dynamic CT is correlated with histological grade. Materials and methods: This study group consisted of 66 patients with 74 surgically resected, hypervascular HCCs. On a preoperative dynamic study with a 64-multidetector row CT, the portal phase was scanned 60 s after injecting the contrast agent following the pre-contrast image and hepatic arterial phase. The tumor attenuation of each HCC on the portal phase was categorized into high, iso-, or low, and was compared with the predominant histological grade using Mann-Whitney's U test. Results: Twenty-nine, 29, and 16 HCCs showed high, iso-, and low attenuation on the portal phase, respectively. Tumors were classified into three well- (w-), 58 moderately (m-), or 13 poorly (p-) differentiated HCCs. The tumor attenuation of p-HCC on the portal phase was significantly lower than those of w-HCC and m-HCC (p < 0.05 and p < 0.00001). Conclusion: The tumor attenuation on the portal phase may help when diagnosing the histological grade of hypervascular HCC. p-HCC are considered to show a faster contrast washout than w-HCC and m-HCC.
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