While focal fat deposition in the liver mostly occurs in typical locations related to non-portal venous supply, unusual patterns of focal fat deposition, including multi-nodular, mass-like, and perivascular patterns, mimic malignancies and cause diagnostic challenges. Patients with unusual focal fat deposition often have potential underlying etiologies such as diabetes, alcohol abuse, metabolic disease, or various medications/chemotherapy. Some cases can be explained by non-portal venous supply or ischemia. Chemical-shift MRI or contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is useful for non-invasive diagnosis of focal fat deposition. We illustrate a series of US, CT, and MR imaging features of focal fatty deposition in the liver mimicking other conditions and seek possible causes. Understanding of imaging patterns of focal fat deposition and its potential causes can help a non-invasive diagnosis by performing confirmatory imaging tests and prevent unnecessary invasive procedures.
- Computed tomography
- Focal fat deposition in the liver
- Key image findings
- Magnetic resonance imaging