Objectives: To assess the performance of gadoxetate dynamic contrast–enhanced (DCE) MRI of the liver and spleen for noninvasive diagnosis of portal hypertension (PH). Methods: Thirty-five patients (M/F 22/13, mean age 55 years) with chronic liver disease who underwent hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements were prospectively enrolled in this IRB-approved study. All patients underwent multiparametric MRI including gadoxetate DCE-MRI acquisition. Model-based and model-free DCE-MRI analyses were performed. The correlation between DCE-MRI parameters and HVPG was assessed. ROC analysis was employed to determine the diagnostic performance of DCE-MRI parameters alone and in combination for prediction of PH and clinically significant (CS)PH (HVPG > 5 and ≥ 10 mmHg, respectively). Results: Mean HVPG was 7.0 ± 5.0 mmHg (range 0–18 mmHg). Twenty-one (60%) patients had PH, of whom 9 had CSPH. Modeled liver uptake fraction fi and uptake rate ki and model-free parameters liver upslope and uptake were all significantly negatively correlated with HVPG (r range − 0.490 to − 0.398, p value range 0.003–0.018), while spleen interstitial fraction ve was significantly positively correlated with HVPG (r = 0.336, p = 0.048). For PH diagnosis, liver ki showed the best diagnostic performance with an AUC, sensitivity, and specificity of 0.74 (confidence interval (CI) 0.57–0.91), 71.4%, and 78.6%. The combination of liver ki and spleen ve was selected as the best classifier for diagnosis of CSPH with an AUC, sensitivity, and specificity of 0.87 (CI 0.75–0.99), 100%, and 73.1%. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the potential utility of hepatocyte uptake parameters and spleen interstitial fraction obtained with gadoxetate DCE-MRI for the diagnosis of PH and CSPH. Key Points: • Liver uptake and spleen interstitial fraction estimates from gadoxetate DCE-MRI are significantly correlated with portal pressure measurements. • Liver uptake rate shows good diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of portal hypertension. • The combination of liver uptake rate with spleen interstitial fraction exhibits excellent diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of clinically significant portal hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4804-4812
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver diseases
  • Perfusion imaging
  • Portal hypertension
  • Portal pressure


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