This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of quantitative indices obtained from deep learning analysis of gadoxetic acid-enhanced hepatobiliary phase (HBP) MRI and their longitudinal changes in predicting decompensation and death in patients with advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD).
Materials and methods:
We included patients who underwent baseline and 1-year follow-up MRI from a prospective cohort that underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance between November 2011 and August 2012 at a tertiary medical center. Baseline liver condition was categorized as non-ACLD, compensated ACLD, and decompensated ACLD. The liver-to-spleen signal intensity ratio (LS-SIR) and liver-to-spleen volume ratio (LS-VR) were automatically measured on the HBP images using a deep learning algorithm, and their percentage changes at the 1-year follow-up (ΔLS-SIR and ΔLS-VR) were calculated. The associations of the MRI indices with hepatic decompensation and a composite endpoint of liver-related death or transplantation were evaluated using a competing risk analysis with multivariable Fine and Gray regression models, including baseline parameters alone and both baseline and follow-up parameters.
Our study included 280 patients (153 male; mean age ± standard deviation, 57 ± 7.95 years) with non-ACLD, compensated ACLD, and decompensated ACLD in 32, 186, and 62 patients, respectively. Patients were followed for 11-117 months (median, 104 months). In patients with compensated ACLD, baseline LS-SIR (sub-distribution hazard ratio [sHR], 0.81; p = 0.034) and LS-VR (sHR, 0.71; p = 0.01) were independently associated with hepatic decompensation. The ΔLS-VR (sHR, 0.54; p = 0.002) was predictive of hepatic decompensation after adjusting for baseline variables. ΔLS-VR was an independent predictor of liver-related death or transplantation in patients with compensated ACLD (sHR, 0.46; p = 0.026) and decompensated ACLD (sHR, 0.61; p = 0.023).
MRI indices automatically derived from the deep learning analysis of gadoxetic acid-enhanced HBP MRI can be used as prognostic markers in patients with ACLD.
Cirrhosis; Deep learning; Gadolinium methoxybenzyl DTPA; Magnetic resonance imaging.