Size of colorectal liver metastases at abdominal CT: Comparison of precontrast and postcontrast studies

Levon N. Nazarian, Jennifer H. Park, Ethan J. Halpern, Laurence Parker, Pamela T. Johnson, Anna S. Lev-Toaff, Richard J. Wechsler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To investigate whether measurements of hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma before contrast material administration are significantly different statistically from measurements after contrast material administration. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-four patients with hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma underwent spiral computed tomography (CT) with 7-mm collimation. The liver was imaged before and in the portal-dominant phase after intravenous contrast material administration. For each scan, one to three discrete liver lesions were selected for measurement (n = 49). Three experienced radiologists performed independent measurements of the selected lesions on both pre- and postcontrast images at a computer workstation. A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed: subjects by raters (the three independent radiologists) by pre- or postcontrast status. The dependent variable was the product of bidimensional measurements. RESULTS: Sixty-seven percent (33 of 49) of the lesions were measured as larger on precontrast images; 33% (16 of 49), as smaller. There was high interrater reliability, with an intraclass correlation coefficient greater than 0.9. ANOVA showed significant subject, rater, and contrast material effects (P < .001) for the largest lesions in each liver. Contrast material status was a significant factor for all lesion sizes (P < .003). CONCLUSION: On average, hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma are significantly smaller after contrast material administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-830
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon, neoplasms
  • Computed tomography (CT), contrast enhancement
  • Liver neoplasms, CT
  • Liver neoplasms, secondary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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