Dual contrast liver MRI: a pictorial illustration

Christopher L. Welle, Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, Scott B. Reeder, Wendaline M. VanBuren, Michael L. Wells, Shannon P. Sheedy, Jeff L. Fidler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a commonly performed imaging technique with multiple indications and applications. There are two general groups of contrast agents used when imaging the liver, extracellular contrast agents (ECA) and hepatobiliary agents (HBA), each of which has its own advantages and limitations. Liver MRI with ECA provides excellent information on abdominal vasculature and better quality multi-phasic studies for characterization of focal liver lesions. HBA improves lesion detection, provides information regarding liver function and can be helpful for evaluating biliary tree anatomy, excretion, anastomotic stenoses, or leaks. Most liver MRI studies are usually performed with one agent, however in some cases, a second study is performed with another agent to obtain additional information or confirm the findings in the first study. Administering both agents in a single exam can potentially eliminate the need for additional imaging in certain situations. In this pictorial review, the techniques and indications for dual contrast MRI will be detailed with multiple demonstrative examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4588-4600
Number of pages13
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Extracellular contrast agent
  • Focal nodular hyperplasia
  • Hepatic adenoma
  • Hepatobiliary contrast agent
  • Liver metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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