Based on recent clinical practice guidelines, imaging is largely replacing pathology as the preferred diagnostic method for determination of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A variety of imaging modalities, including ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, and angiography, are currently used to examine patients with chronic liver disease and suspected HCC. Advancements in imaging techniques such as perfusion imaging, diffusion imaging, and elastography along with the development of new contrast media will further improve the ability to detect and characterize HCC. Early diagnosis of HCC is essential for prompt treatment, which may in turn improve prognosis. Considering the process of hepatocarcinogenesis, it is important to evaluate sequential changes via imaging which would help to differentiate HCC from premalignant or benign lesions. Recent innovations including multiphasic examinations, high-resolution imaging, and the increased functional capabilities available with contrast-enhanced US, multidetector row CT, and MRI have raised the standards for HCC diagnosis. Although hemodynamic features of nodules in the cirrhotic liver remain the main diagnostic criterion, newly developed cell-specific contrast agents have shown great possibilities for improved HCC diagnosis and may overcome the diagnostic dilemma associated with small or borderline hepatocellular lesions. In the 20th century paradigm of medical imaging, radiological diagnosis was based on morphological characteristics, but in the 21st century, a paradigm shift to include biomedical, physiological, functional, and genetic imaging is needed. A multidisciplinary team approach is necessary to foster an integrated approach to HCC imaging. By developing and combining new imaging modalities, all phases of HCC patient care, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and therapy, can be dramatically improved.
Byung Ihn Choi, MD
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital
101 Daehakro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-744 (Korea)
Tel. +82 2 2072 2515, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: September 28, 2012
Number of Print Pages : 16
Vol. 1, No. 2, Year 2012 (Cover Date: September 2012)
Journal Editor: Kudo M. (Osaka)
ISSN: 2235-1795 (Print), eISSN: 1664-5553 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/LIC
Copyright / Drug Dosage
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.