Tumor size and intrahepatic duct dilatation can both predict microvascular invasion in patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), according to a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology Review/Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny.

This is important because both factors are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features that can determine the microvascular invasion status of patients—which is associated with poor clinical outcomes—before surgery, thereby improving clinical outcomes.

To generate a predictive model that can predict microvascular invasion status in patients with iCCA based on clinical and MRI features, a team of researchers from China led by Xi-Juan Ma from the department of radiology, Xuzhou Central Hospital, Xuzhou Clinical School of Xuzhou Medical University conducted a study between 2015 and 2019.

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The team first enrolled 143 patients into a training group. Of these, 32.2% had microvascular invasion while 67.8% did not. 

Read more about the prognosis of CCA

The univariate logistic analysis identified larger tumor size, higher levels of carcinoembryonic antigen, intrahepatic duct dilatation, and irregular tumor morphology as factors predictive of microvascular invasion. 

However, in multivariate logistic analysis, only larger tumor size and intrahepatic duct dilatation were predictive of microvascular invasion.

The researchers established a predictive model based on these variables and then enrolled 58 patients to validate the model. Of these patients, 31% had microvascular invasion, while 69% did not. 

The researcher reported that the area under the curve (AUC) for receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was 0.716 when the data from patients in the validation cohort were inserted into the predictive model, confirming the ability of the model to accurately predict the microvascular invasion status of the patients.

“The predictive model incorporating these 2 variables can thus offer quantitative insights when predicting [microvascular invasion] status in the context of patient treatment and monitoring,” the authors concluded. 


Sun JJ, Qian XL, Shi YB, Fu YF, Yang C, Ma XJ. Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features predict microvascular invasion in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Prz Gastroenterol. 2023;18(2):161-167. doi:10.5114/pg.2022.116668