OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether minute portal venous invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can be diagnosed radiologically. MATERIALS AND METHODS. CT hepatic arteriography and CT with arterioportography (CTAP) of 15 patients with minute portal venous invasion (group 1) and 30 patients without it (group 0) were evaluated. An area showing low attenuation on CTAP and high attenuation on CT hepatic arteriography around the tumor was defined as an area of peritumoral hemodynamic change. The shape and size of the area were compared between the two groups. The ratio of the area of peritumoral hemodynamic change volume to tumor volume (area volume-tumor volume ratio) was used as an indicator of the size of the area of peritumoral hemodynamic change and was categorized as one of three grades: grade I, 10% or less; grade II, between 10% and 30%; and grade III, 30% or more. The detectability of minute portal invasion was assessed when grade III was considered as an indicator. Each comparison was also made independently when the tumor diameter either was limited to less than 3 cm or was 3 cm or more. RESULTS. Three types of area of peritumoral hemodynamic change were identified: wedge-shaped, belt-shaped or irregular, and linear. No significant difference in the frequency of each type of area of peritumoral hemodynamic change was observed between the two groups. The area volume-tumor volume ratio in group 1 was larger than that in group 0, with statistical significance when the tumor diameter was less than 3 cm (p = 0.046). Positive and negative predictive values were 71.4% and 75.0%, respectively, when the tumor diameter was less than 3 cm. CONCLUSION. The area of peritumoral hemodynamic change in HCC patients with minute portal invasion (group 1) may be larger than in those without it (group 0), especially when tumors are small.
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