White paper of the Society of Abdominal Radiology hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis disease-focused panel on LI-RADS v2018 for CT and MRI

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2018 Oct;43(10):2625-2642. doi: 10.1007/s00261-018-1744-4.


The Liver Imaging and Reporting Data System (LI-RADS) is a comprehensive system for standardizing the terminology, technique, interpretation, reporting, and data collection of liver imaging with the overarching goal of improving communication, clinical care, education, and research relating to patients at risk for or diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In 2018, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) integrated LI-RADS into its clinical practice guidance for the imaging-based diagnosis of HCC. The harmonization between the AASLD and LI-RADS diagnostic imaging criteria required minor modifications to the recently released LI-RADS v2017 guidelines, necessitating a LI-RADS v2018 update. This article provides an overview of the key changes included in LI-RADS v2018 as well as a look at the LI-RADS v2018 diagnostic algorithm and criteria, technical recommendations, and management suggestions. Substantive changes in LI-RADS v2018 are the removal of the requirement for visibility on antecedent surveillance ultrasound for LI-RADS 5 (LR-5) categorization of 10-19 mm observations with nonrim arterial phase hyper-enhancement and nonperipheral "washout", and adoption of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network definition of threshold growth (≥ 50% size increase of a mass in ≤ 6 months). Nomenclatural changes in LI-RADS v2018 are the removal of -us and -g as LR-5 qualifiers.

Keywords: CT; HCC; LI-RADS; MRI; v2018.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*
  • United States