Background: Repeated transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) can be associated with loss of its efficacy and subsequent tumor progression. Purpose: To identify features of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) associated with TACE refractoriness and to develop a prediction model for estimating the risk of TACE refractoriness. Material and Methods: Among 1025 patients with intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent TACE as a first-line treatment during 2010–2017, 427 patients who underwent preoperative gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI were analyzed. According to the date of initial TACE, patients were divided into the development cohort (n = 211) and the test cohort (n = 216). TACE refractoriness was determined according to the Japan Society of Hepatology guidelines. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to investigate the association between clinical/MRI features and TACE refractoriness. The performance of the prediction model was internally and externally assessed using the C-index of discrimination and a Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test for calibration. Results: By analyzing 427 patients, we constructed a prediction model with the following independent features associated with TACE refractoriness: maximum tumor size; tumor number; peritumoral hypointensity on hepatobiliary phase (HBP); and the presence of non-hypervascular hypointense nodule on HBP. This system enabled the prediction of TACE refractoriness in the development cohort (C-index, 0.796) and the test cohort (C-index, 0.738) with good discrimination and calibration abilities. Conclusion: The prediction model based on gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI features in addition to the known predictors including tumor size and number can be used to estimate the risk of TACE refractoriness in patients with intermediate-stage HCC.
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- transarterial chemoembolization