LI-RADS and transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma

An Tang, Kathryn J. Fowler, Victoria Chernyak, William C. Chapman, Claude B. Sirlin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be eligible for liver transplantation. Liver transplant candidates with HCC compete for the same deceased donor organs as those without HCC. These scarce organs must be allocated fairly and justly to those who will benefit most. Unlike most other cancers, HCC is often diagnosed noninvasively by imaging without biopsy confirmation. Therefore, radiologists play an important role in diagnosing definite HCC (i.e., LR-5 category) that counts toward staging and determination of liver transplant eligibility. This review explains the conversion of LI-RADS observation categories to organ procurement and transplantation network classes, illustrates the radiologic T-staging systems, reviews selection criteria for liver transplant eligibility, and discusses prioritization of liver transplant candidates with HCC. In addition, this review summarizes imaging requirements, including contrast agents accepted, minimum specifications for dynamic CT or MRI of the liver, and modalities accepted for assessment of extrahepatic spread or metastatic disease in liver transplant candidates with HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Eligibility
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Prioritization
  • Review article
  • Staging
  • Transplantation


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