Diffusion kurtosis imaging in the assessment of liver function: Its potential as an effective predictor of liver function

Daisuke Yoshimaru, Yasuo Takatsu, Yuichi Suzuki, Toshiaki Miyati, Yuhki Hamada, Ayumu Funaki, Ayumi Tabata, Chifumi Maruyama, Masahiko Shimada, Maki Tobari, Takayoshi Nishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


objectives: We aimed to determine whether diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) analysis with the breath-hold technique can replace liver function results obtained from laboratory tests. methods: Patients (n = 79) suspected of having a hepatobiliary disease, and control group without liver diseases (n = 15) were examined with non-Gaussian diffusion-weighted imaging using a 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging unit. Based on the findings of DKI, various blood serum parameters, including the indocyanine green (ICG) retention rate 15 min after an intravenous injection of ICG (ICG-R15) and mean kurtosis values and Child–Pugh and albumin–bilirubin (ALBI) scores, were calculated. In total, 17 patients were tested using ICG-R15. For evaluating liver function, correlations between the mean kurtosis value and the Child–Pugh score, ALBI score, and ICG-R15 value as indicators of liver function obtained from blood data were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation. In apparent diffusion coefficient as well, we assessed correlations with these indicators. results: The mean kurtosis value correlated with the Child–Pugh score (Spearman’s rank-correlation coefficient, ρ = 0.3992; p < 0.0001). Moreover, the mean kurtosis value revealed a correlation with the ICG-R15 value (Spearman’s rank-correlation coefficient, ρ = 0.5972; p = 0.00114). The correlation between the mean kurtosis value and the ALBI score was the poorest among these (Spearman’s rank-correlation coefficient, ρ = 0.3395; p = 0.0008). conclusion: Liver function correlating with the Child–Pugh score and ICG-R15 value can be quantitatively estimated using the mean kurtosis value obtained from DKI analysis. DKI analysis with the breath-hold technique can be used to determine liver function instead of performing laboratory tests. advances in knowledge: Previous studies have not evaluated liver function in vivo using DKI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170608
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1094
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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