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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Liver Transplantation: A Comprehensive Review

Cesur Samanci, Fatemeh Sobhani, Enver Ucbilek, Katie Rakestraw, Nabil N. Dagher, Ihab R. Kamel, Ahmet Gurakar

(Department of Radiology, Division of MRI, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA)

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:68-76

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.895595

ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer. One of the most important risk factors of HCC is cirrhosis. The optimal treatment of HCC is liver transplantation, since it treats both the underlying cirrhosis and the cancer. Patients that have risk factors should be included in surveillance programs since HCC can be cured only during the early stages. Surveillance can be performed by ultrasonography (US), which is an inexpensive, non-invasive, and widely available technique, but it is considered to have a low sensitivity. If a suspicious lesion is detected on US exam, computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to further evaluate this lesion. MRI is considered to be superior to CT because it has greater contrast resolution and tissue characterization. In this article, we present a review of MRI for HCC in liver transplantation (LT) with a focus on characteristic MR features of this tumor and current guidelines.

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