Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology 2017 04 22() doi 10.1111/1754-9485.12610
Hepatic morphology changes are well described in Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and characterised by a combination of atrophy and hypertrophy changes. This study investigates the relationship between progression of these changes over time and clinical outcome in patients with PSC.
Fifty-three patients with PSC (mean age 44, 28 males and 25 females) who underwent serial MRI liver studies at least one year apart were identified. The first and the last MRI studies were selected for the retrospective analysis. Three radiologists reviewed and compared both studies for changes in hepatic morphology, specifically atrophy and/or hypertrophy. The imaging findings were correlated with adverse clinical outcomes defined as death or liver transplantation and with serum bilirubin.
There was a mean interval of 60 months between MRI examinations and a mean clinical follow-up period thereafter of 22 months. Thirty-three (62.3%) patients had stable hepatic morphology, whilst 20 (37.7%) patients showed hepatic morphology changes (atrophy: 13 patients, 24%; hypertrophy: 16 patients, 30%). Eleven patients (21%) died or underwent liver transplantation. There was a significant correlation between interval hepatic atrophy and adverse clinical outcomes (P = 0.001). Significant correlations were found between increasing serum bilirubin level and interval hepatic atrophy, hepatic hypertrophy and combined changes (P = 0.025, P = 0.022, P = 0.027, respectively).
Hepatic morphology changes over time in patients with PSC are heterogeneous with some patients developing atrophy and/or hypertrophy whilst other patients remain stable. In this retrospective study, progressive hepatic atrophy showed significant association with adverse clinical outcome defined by either death or liver transplantation.