Small hepatocellular carcinoma in patients undergoing liver transplantation: detection with CT after injection of iodized oil

Radiology. 1995 Nov;197(2):377-80. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.2.7480680.


Purpose: To assess computed tomography (CT) with iodized oil for depiction of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) before liver transplantation.

Materials and methods: Thirty-five consecutive cirrhotic patients underwent CT with iodized oil to determine the presence, number, size, and location of possible nodules. All patients underwent liver transplantation within 4 months after CT. Explanted livers were cut in 8-mm slices that corresponded to axial CT scan planes. Comparison between CT staging and pathologic findings was made.

Results: Pathologic studies showed 17 HCC nodules (diameter, 0.9-4.0 cm) in nine of the 35 livers. CT depicted nine of these 17 nodules. Lesion-by-lesion analysis revealed a sensitivity of 53%; CT falsely depicted three additional nodules not confirmed with pathologic findings. Patient-by-patient analysis revealed an 89% sensitivity and an 88% specificity.

Conclusion: CT with iodized oil, when assessed lesion by lesion, has a low sensitivity. These results must be considered when liver resection is proposed for HCC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Contrast Media* / administration & dosage
  • Hepatectomy
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iodized Oil* / administration & dosage
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods


  • Contrast Media
  • Iodized Oil