Purpose: To investigate the utility of T1ρ and T2 relaxations for assessing the severity of liver fibrosis (F stage) and necro-inflammation (A stage) in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). Materials and methods: We calculated T1ρ and T2 relaxations of the liver parenchyma in 82 patients who underwent liver surgery. F and A stages of enrolled patients were assessed by referring to surgically resected specimens. The relationships between T1ρ or T2 relaxation and F or A stage were assessed using one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test, Spearman's rank correlation test and a receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: The T1ρ and T2 values of the liver parenchyma were significantly increased as the F and A stages progressed. The T1ρ and T2 values showed significant differences between F0 and F4, between F1 and F4, and between F2 and F4. In addition, T1ρ values showed a significant difference between F0 and F3 as well. The highest diagnostic ability for fibrosis was obtained when differentiating ≥F3 from ≤F2 using T1ρ: the sensitivity was 82.8%, the specificity 79.2% and the area under the curve (AUC) 0.87. The sensitivity and AUC of T1ρ relaxation (46.9% and 0.67) were significantly higher than those of T2 relaxation (29.7% and 0.60) for differentiating ≥A1 from A0. Conclusion: T1ρ and T2 relaxations have potential as a biochemical marker for assessing the severity of liver fibrosis and necro-inflammation. T1ρ relaxation may be slightly superior to T2 relaxation in terms of diagnostic ability for liver fibrosis and necro-inflammation.
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