Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 517–528 | Cite as

LI-RADS for CT diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma: performance of major and ancillary features

  • Ayman Alhasan
  • Milena Cerny
  • Damien Olivié
  • Jean-Sébastien Billiard
  • Catherine Bergeron
  • Kip Brown
  • Paule Bodson-Clermont
  • Hélène Castel
  • Simon Turcotte
  • Pierre Perreault
  • An TangEmail author



To evaluate the diagnostic performance of Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) v2017 major features, the impact of ancillary features, and categories on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Materials and methods

This retrospective study included 59 patients (104 observations including 72 HCCs) with clinical suspicion of HCC undergoing CECT between 2013 and 2016. Two radiologists independently assessed major and ancillary imaging features for each liver observation and assigned a LI-RADS category based on major features only and in combination with ancillary features. The composite reference standard included pathology or imaging. Per-lesion estimates of diagnostic performance of major features, ancillary features, and LI-RADS categories were assessed by generalized estimating equation models.


Major features (arterial phase hyperenhancement, washout, capsule, and threshold growth) respectively had a sensitivity of 86.1%, 81.6%, 20.7%, and 26.1% and specificity of 39.3%, 67.9%, 89.9%, and 85.0% for HCC. Ancillary features (ultrasound visibility as discrete nodule, subthreshold growth, and fat in mass more than adjacent liver) respectively had a sensitivity of 42.6%, 50.8%, and 15.1% and a specificity of 79.2%, 66.9%, and 96.4% for HCC. Ancillary features modified the final category in 4 of 104 observations. For HCC diagnosis, categories LR-3, LR-4, LR-5, and LR-TIV (tumor in vein) had a sensitivity of 5.3%, 29.0%, 53.7%, and 10.7%; and a specificity of 49.1%, 84.4%, 97.3%, and 96.4%, respectively.


On CT, LR-5 category has near-perfect specificity for the diagnosis of HCC and ancillary features modifies the final category in few observations.

Key words

LI-RADS Hepatocellular carcinoma Major features Ancillary features Category CT 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Ayman Alhasan, Milena Cerny, Damien Olivié, Jean-Sébastien Billiard, Catherine Bergeron, Kip Brown, Paule Bodson-Clermont, Hélène Castel, Simon Turcotte, Pierre Perreault and An Tang declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was waived from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

261_2018_1762_MOESM1_ESM.docx (66 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 66 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayman Alhasan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Milena Cerny
    • 3
  • Damien Olivié
    • 1
  • Jean-Sébastien Billiard
    • 1
  • Catherine Bergeron
    • 1
  • Kip Brown
    • 3
  • Paule Bodson-Clermont
    • 3
  • Hélène Castel
    • 4
  • Simon Turcotte
    • 3
    • 5
  • Pierre Perreault
    • 1
  • An Tang
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCentre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)MontrealCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineTaibah UniversityMedinaSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM)MontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Hepatology and Liver TransplantationCentre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)MontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of Surgery, Hepatopancreatobiliary and Liver Transplantation ServiceCentre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)MontrealCanada
  6. 6.Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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