Background: American College of Radiology contrast agent–enhanced US Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (CEUS LI-RADS) was developed to improve the accuracy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis at contrast agent2enhanced US. However, to the knowledge of the authors, the diagnostic accuracy of the system in characterization of liver nodules 20 mm or smaller has not been fully evaluated.
Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of CEUS LI-RADS in diagnosing HCC in liver nodules 20 mm or smaller in patients at risk for HCC.
Materials and Methods: Between January 2015 and February 2018, consecutive patients at risk for HCC presenting with untreated liver nodules 20 mm or less were enrolled in this retrospective double-reader study. Each nodule was categorized according to the CEUS LI-RADS and World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB)–European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) criteria. Diagnostic performance of CEUS LI-RADS and WFUMB-EFSUMB characterization was evaluated by using tissue histologic analysis, multiphase contrast-enhanced CT and MRI, and imaging follow-up as reference standard and compared by using McNemar test.
Results: The study included 175 nodules (mean diameter, 16.1 mm 6 3.4) in 172 patients (mean age, 51.8 years 6 10.6; 136 men). The sensitivity of CEUS LR-5 versus WFUMB-EFSUMB criteria in diagnosing HCC was 73.3% (95% confidence inter-val [CI]: 63.8%, 81.5%) versus 88.6% (95% CI: 80.9%, 94%), respectively (P, .001). The specificity of CEUS LR-5 versus WFUMB-EFSUMB criteria was 97.1% (95% CI: 90.1%, 99.7%) versus 87.1% (95% CI: 77%, 94%), respectively (P = .02). No malignant lesions were found in CEUS LR-1 and LR-2 categories. Only two nodules (of 41; 5%, both HCC) were malignant in CEUS LR-3 category. The incidences of HCC in CEUS LR-4, LR-5, and LR-M were 48% (11 of 23), 98% (77 of 79), and 75% (15 of 20), respectively. Two of 175 (1.1%) histologic analysis2confirmed intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas were categorized as CEUS LR-M by CEUS LI-RADS and misdiagnosed as HCC by WFUMB-EFSUMB criteria.
Conclusion: The contrast-enhanced US Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (CEUS LI-RADS) algorithm was an effective tool for characterization of small (≤20 mm) liver nodules in patients at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Compared with World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology2European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology criteria, CEUS LR-5 demonstrated higher specificity for diagnosing small HCCs with lower sensitivity.
Huang, Jia-Yan; Li, Jia-Wu; Lu, Qiang; Luo, Yan; Lin, Ling; Shi, Yu-Jun; Li, Tao; Liu, Ji-Bin; and Lyshchik, Andrej, "Diagnostic Accuracy of CEUS LI-RADS for the Characterization of Liver Nodules 20 mm or Smaller in Patients at Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma." (2020). Department of Radiology Faculty Papers. Paper 82.
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