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State-of-the-art in radiomics of hepatocellular carcinoma: a review of basic principles, applications, and limitations

Abstract

Radiomics is a new field in medical imaging with the potential of changing medical practice. Radiomics is characterized by the extraction of several quantitative imaging features which are not visible to the naked eye from conventional imaging modalities, and its correlation with specific relevant clinical endpoints, such as pathology, therapeutic response, and survival. Several studies have evaluated the use of radiomics in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with encouraging results, particularly in the pretreatment prediction of tumor biological characteristics, risk of recurrence, and survival. In spite of this, there are limitations and challenges to be overcome before the implementation of radiomics into clinical routine. In this article, we will review the concepts of radiomics and their current potential applications in patients with HCC. It is important that the multidisciplinary team involved in the treatment of patients with HCC be aware of the basic principles, benefits, and limitations of radiomics in order to achieve a balanced interpretation of the results toward a personalized medicine.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their deepest gratitude to Dr. Richard Kinh Gian Do, MD, PhD radiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for his support on this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Natally Horvat.

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Miranda Magalhaes Santos, J.M., Clemente Oliveira, B., Araujo-Filho, J.A.B. et al. State-of-the-art in radiomics of hepatocellular carcinoma: a review of basic principles, applications, and limitations. Abdom Radiol 45, 342–353 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00261-019-02299-3

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Keywords

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Radiomics
  • Textural analysis
  • Liver neoplasms
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Computed tomography
  • Positron emission tomography