OBJECTIVE. Our aim was to investigate the feasibility of MR imaging as a comprehensive preoperative imaging test for examination of liver donor candidates for adult-to-adult right lobe transplantation. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Twenty-five consecutive donor candidates were examined at 1.5 T using a torso phased array coil with breath-hold T1- and T2-weighted imaging of the abdomen, MR cholangiography using T2-weighted turbo spin-echo imaging, and MR angiography and venography of the liver using two interpolated three-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo sequences (average dose of gadolinium contrast material, 0.17 mmol/kg). Images were interpreted for liver parenchymal and extrahepatic abnormalities; measurements of right and left lobe liver volumes; definition of hepatic arterial, portal venous, and hepatic venous anatomy; and definition of the biliary branching pattern. Findings were compared with those of conventional angiography in 13 patients, 11 of whom also had surgical findings for comparison. RESULTS. Nine patients were excluded as candidates for donation on the basis of MR imaging findings that included parenchymal or extrahepatic abnormalities in five patients, vascular anomalies in two, and biliary anomalies in three. Two patients who did not undergo surgery underwent conventional angiography that confirmed MR angiographic findings except for a small (<2 mm) accessory left hepatic artery missed on MR imaging. Of the nine patients who underwent successful right hepatectomy, all MR imaging findings were corroborated intraoperatively. In two patients, right hepatectomy was aborted at laparotomy because of intraoperative cholangiography findings; in one of them, the biliary finding was unsuspected on MR imaging. CONCLUSION. A comprehensive MR imaging examination has the potential to serve as the sole preoperative imaging modality for living adult-to-adult liver donor candidates provided improvements in definition of intrahepatic biliary anatomy can be achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging