MRI is the most commonly used imaging modality for HCC screening at a tertiary care transplant center

Gabriela Hernandez-Meza, Naik Vietti Violi, Daniela Said, Eitan Novogrodsky, Dillan Villavisanis, Samuel Z. Maron, Justin Frere, Thomas D. Schiano, Scott Friedman, Paolo Boffetta, Andrea Branch, Bachir Taouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, we describe the patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening with imaging and factors associated with imaging modality selection in a tertiary care transplant center. Methods: This was a retrospective study where all adult patients with cirrhosis and/or chronic hepatitis B virus infection referred for HCC screening with ultrasound (US), CT or MRI were identified during 2017. The association between imaging methods, demographic/clinical data were analyzed by uni- and multivariate analysis. Results: A total of 1437 patients were included (median age 61y, 59% male, median BMI 27.5 kg/m2, median AFP 3.4 ng/mL, 37% with HCV and 87% with cirrhosis). Index screening imaging method utilization included MRI (51%), US (33%) and CT (16%). Use of US as the index imaging modality for screening was significantly associated with race/ethnicity [Odds Ratio (OR) 1.71–2.01, all p < 0.05] in multivariate analysis. Presence of cirrhosis (OR 0.29, p < 0.001) and referral by a hepatologist (OR 0.23, p < 0.001) were associated with screening with MRI in the multivariate analysis; while gender, age, BMI, etiology and income at ZIP code of residence were not significantly associated with imaging modality selection. HCC was observed in 62 patients (prevalence 4.3%). Rate of HCC detection was significantly higher with MRI vs US (5.9% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.001). Conclusion: MRI was the most frequently used modality (> 50%) for HCC screening in our tertiary care center, in contrast with the current practice guidelines. Race/ethnicity, cirrhosis and referral by a hepatologist were associated with the imaging method used for HCC screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5142-5151
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Screening
  • Ultrasonography


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