Background and Aims:
The Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) and European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) diagnostic criteria for noninvasive diagnosis of HCC can only be applied to patients at a high risk of HCC. This systematic review assesses adherence to the LI-RADS and EASL high-risk population criteria in published studies.
Approach and Results:
PubMed was searched for original research, published between January 2012 and December 2021, reporting LI-RADS and EASL diagnostic criteria on contrast-enhanced ultrasound, CT, or MRI. The algorithm version, publication year, risk status, and etiologies of chronic liver disease were recorded for each study. Adherence to high-risk population criteria was evaluated as optimal (unequivocal adherence), suboptimal (equivocal), or inadequate (clear violation). A total of 219 original studies were included, with 215 that used the LI-RADS criteria, 4 EASL only, and 15 that evaluated both LI-RADS and EASL criteria. Optimal, suboptimal, or inadequate adherence to high-risk population criteria was observed in 111/215 (51.6%), 86/215 (40.0%), and 18/215 (8.4%) LI-RADS and 6/19 (31.6%), 5/19 (26.3%), and 8/19 (42.1%) EASL studies (p < 0.001) regardless of the imaging modality. Adherence to high-risk population criteria significantly improved according to the CT/MRI LI-RADS versions (optimal in v2018 in 64.5% of studies; v2017, 45.8%; v2014, 24.4%; v2013.1, 33.3%; p < 0.001) and the publication year (2020–2021, 62.5%; 2018–2019, 33.9%; 2014–2017, 39.3% of all LI-RADS studies; p = 0.002). No significant differences in adherence to high-risk population criteria were observed in the versions of contrast-enhanced ultrasound LI-RADS (p = 0.388) or EASL (p = 0.293).
Adherence to high-risk population criteria was optimal or suboptimal in about 90% and 60% of LI-RADS and EASL studies, respectively.