Abdominal Imaging

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 231–238

Hepatocellular carcinoma: MR staging and therapeutic decisions


    • Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyPisa University Hospital

DOI: 10.1007/s00261-011-9735-8

Cite this article as:
Bargellini, I. Abdom Imaging (2012) 37: 231. doi:10.1007/s00261-011-9735-8


Staging of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents a controversial and complex topic, since prognosis is largely dependent on several variables other than tumor extension, such liver function and general clinical conditions. Up to now, there is no agreement regarding the most reliable clinical staging system for HCC. Ideally, the staging system should be simple and easily obtainable and should not be influenced by differences in patient populations. So far, in Western countries, the Barcelona Clinic for Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system represents the most frequently adopted classification. It is simple and guides the clinicians through the therapeutic decision process. Magnetic resonance imaging represents the most proper imaging modality for correct staging of HCC, providing high accuracy in evaluating tumor extension as well as tumor response to treatment (after percutaneous ablation, transarterial chemoembolization, or molecular-targeted therapy). The present review describes the most frequently used staging systems and the treatment options that are recommended for the different stages of the disease.


Hepatocellular carcinomaStagingMagnetic resonancePercutaneous ablationChemoembolizationSorafenib

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011