Tumor stiffness measurement using magnetic resonance elastography can predict recurrence and survival after curative resection of hepatocellular carcinoma

Published:December 06, 2022DOI:



      Tumor stiffness measurement using magnetic resonance elastography can assess tumor mechanical properties and predict hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence. This study aimed to investigate preoperative tumor stiffness on magnetic resonance elastography as a predictor of overall survival and recurrence-free survival in patients with solitary nodular hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent curative resection.


      Seventy-eight patients with solitary nodular hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent preoperative magnetic resonance elastography and curative resection were retrospectively analyzed. Potential associations of tumor stiffness and other clinicopathological variables with overall survival and recurrence-free survival were analyzed in both univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses. The optimal tumor stiffness cutoff value was determined using the minimal P value approach.


      In multivariate analysis, tumor stiffness (hazard ratio 1.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–1.59; P = .008) and vascular invasion (hazard ratio 2.62; 95% confidence interval, 1.27–5.17; P = .010) were independent predictors of recurrence-free survival. For overall survival, tumor stiffness (hazard ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.76; P = .037) was the only independent predictor. The optimal tumor stiffness cutoff value was 5.81 kPa for both overall survival and recurrence-free survival. Patients with tumor stiffness ≥5.81 kPa had a significantly greater risk of death (hazard ratio 6.10; 95% confidence interval, 2.11–21.90; P < .001) than those with tumor stiffness <5.81 kPa.


      Preoperative tumor stiffness as measured by magnetic resonance elastography was a predictor of overall survival and recurrence-free survival in hepatocellular carcinoma patients who underwent curative resection. Higher tumor stiffness was associated with higher risk of recurrence and death.
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