Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer. Imaging is important for establishing a diagnosis of HCC. Several imaging modalities including ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and angiography are used in evaluating patients with chronic liver disease and suspected HCC. CT, MRI and contrast-enhanced US have replaced biopsy for diagnosis of HCC. Dynamic multiphase contrast-enhanced CT or MRI is the current standard for imaging diagnosis of HCC. Functional imaging techniques such as perfusion CT and diffusion-weighted MRI provide additional information about tumor angiogenesis that may be useful for treatment. Techniques evaluating tissue mechanical properties such as magnetic resonance elastography, and acoustic radiation force impulse imaging are being explored for characterizing liver lesions. The role of PET in the evaluation of HCC is evolving with promise seen especially with the use of a hepatocyte-specific PET tracer. Imaging is also critical for assessment of treatment response and detection of recurrence following locoregional treatment. Knowledge of the post-treatment appearance of HCC is essential for correct interpretation. This review article provides an overview of the role of imaging in the diagnosis, staging and posttreatment follow-up of HCC.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Locoregional treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging