Diagnosis of primary liver cancer by computed tomography
For the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the effectiveness of ultrasonography (US) has been widely accepted in Japan. However, US examination of the entire liver is occasionally impossible because of intervening bones, air in the gut or lung, or dense fatty tissue, especially in patients with a small cirrhotic liver. In such patients, computed tomography (CT) has begun to play an increasingly important role in detecting HCC as a complementary imaging method for US. CT is also very useful in differentiating various space-occupying lesions of the liver [1,2], evaluating the location and extension of these lesions, and determining the viability of neoplasms treated by transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE), percutaneous ethanol injection therapy, or chemotherapy. Another advantage of CT is its objectiveness in visualizing the relation between the lesions and the surrounding tissues. For these reasons and because of widespread availability of CT machines in Japan, CT is now performed in almost all patients with HCC and is making a major contribution to the treatment of HCC.
KeywordsTumor Thrombus Focal Nodular Hyperplasia Cavernous Hemangioma Fibrous Capsule Adenomatous Hyperplasia
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