JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Hepatocellular carcinoma: diagnostic performance of multidetector CT and MR imaging-a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yoon Jin Lee, Jeong Min Lee, Ji Sung Lee, Hwa Young Lee, Bo Hyun Park, Young Hoon Kim, Joon Koo Han, Byung Ihn Choi
Radiology 2015, 275 (1): 97-109
25559230

PURPOSE: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the diagnostic performance of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging as noninvasive modalities for evaluating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic liver disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases was performed to identify studies providing per-patient or per-lesion diagnostic accuracies of multidetector CT and MR imaging for HCCs in patients with chronic liver disease. Studies published from January 2000 to December 2012 that used a reference standard based on histopathologic findings and/or findings at follow-up were included. Summary estimates of diagnostic accuracy were obtained by using a random-effects model with further exploration with meta-regression and subgroup analyses.

RESULTS: Forty studies (six on multidetector CT, 22 on MR imaging, and 12 on both CT and MR imaging) were included. The studies evaluated a total of 1135 patients with multidetector CT and 2489 patients with MR imaging. The overall per-patient sensitivity of MR imaging was 88% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 83%, 92%), with a specificity of 94% (95% CI: 85%, 98%). The overall per-lesion sensitivity of MR imaging was higher than that of multidetector CT when the paired data of the 11 available studies were pooled (80% vs 68%, P = .0023). Gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR imaging showed significantly higher per-lesion sensitivity than MR imaging performed with other contrast agents (87% vs 74%, P = .03). Per-lesion sensitivity was significantly lower for HCCs smaller than 1 cm than that for HCCs 1 cm or larger (P < .001 for CT, P = .02 for MR imaging) and for those in explanted livers (P = .04 for CT, P < .001 for MR imaging).

CONCLUSION: MR imaging showed higher per-lesion sensitivity than multidetector CT and should be the preferred imaging modality for the diagnosis of HCCs in patients with chronic liver disease.

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