Imaging Options for Detecting Liver Cancer

Imaging Techniques for the Diagnosis and Staging of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a new research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program, found that several imaging modalities for diagnosing and staging hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer—the fifth most common cancer and the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide—appear to be reasonable options for the detection of liver cancer, the evaluation of focal liver lesions (tumors), or cancer staging.

However, test performance (sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios) is lacking for small or well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. For the few studies assessing diagnostic accuracy in surveillance settings, only two directly compared imaging modalities.

More research is needed to understand the effects of test performance differences on clinical decisionmaking and clinical outcomes.

Select to access Imaging Techniques for the Diagnosis and Staging of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Page last reviewed November 2014
Internet Citation: Imaging Options for Detecting Liver Cancer. November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/ehc-newreview.html