Screening tests for hepatocellular carcinoma

Clin Liver Dis. 2005 May;9(2):235-51, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2004.12.006.


The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is rising throughout the world. HCC meets the criteria for which a disease benefits from screening or surveillance: it is an important health problem; those with cirrhosis are the targets for surveillance; there is acceptable treatment if diagnosed early; surveillance using alpha-fetoprotein and ultrasound has been shown to be cost effective; surveillance is widely implemented by health care professionals and accepted by patients; standardized recall procedures exists; and the screening tests must achieve an acceptable level of accuracy in the population undergoing screening. The latter point is the main limitation of surveillance for HCC. In this review we will discuss the currently available tests for the surveillance of HCC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor