Biomarkers vs imaging in the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma and prognosis

World J Clin Cases. 2019 Jun 26;7(12):1367-1382. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i12.1367.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the 5th most frequently diagnosed cancer in the world, according to the World Health Organization. The incidence of HCC is between 3/100000 and 78.1/100000, with a high incidence reported in areas with viral hepatitis B and hepatitis C, thus affecting Asia and Africa predominantly. Several international clinical guidelines address HCC diagnosis and are structured according to the geographical area involved. All of these clinical guidelines, however, share a foundation of diagnosis by ultrasound surveillance and contrast imaging techniques, particularly computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and sometimes contrast-enhanced ultrasound. The primary objective of this review was to systematically summarize the recent published studies on the clinical utility of serum biomarkers in the early diagnosis of HCC and for the prognosis of this disease.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Computed tomography; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging; Ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Review