Classifying CT/MR findings in patients with suspicion of hepatocellular carcinoma: Comparison of liver imaging reporting and data system and criteria-free Likert scale reporting models

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Abstract

Purpose:

To compare the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) and a criteria-free Likert scale (LS) reporting models for classifying computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (CT/MR) findings of suspicious hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Materials and Methods:

Imaging data of 281 hepatic nodules in 203 patients were retrospectively included. Imaging characteristics including diameter, arterial hyperenhancement, washout, and capsule were reviewed independently by two groups of readers using LI-RADS and LS (range, score 1–5). LS is primarily based on the overall impression of image findings without using fixed criteria. Interreader agreement (IRA), intraclass agreement (ICA), and diagnostic performance were determined by Fleiss, Cohen's kappa (κ), and logistic regression, respectively.

Results:

There were 167 contrast-enhanced CT (CECT) versus 114 MR data. Overall, IRA was moderate (κ = 0.47, 0.52); IRA was moderate-to-good for arterial hyperenhancement, washout, and capsule (κ = 0.56–0.69); excellent for diameter and tumor embolus (κ = 0.99). Overall, ICA between LI-RADS and LS was moderate (κ = 0.44–0.50); ICA was good for scores 1–2 (κ = 0.71–0.90), moderate for scores 3 and 5 (κ = 0.41–0.52), but very poor for score 4 (κ = 0.11–0.19). LI-RADS produced significantly lower accuracy (78.6% vs. 87.2%) and sensitivity (72.1% vs. 92.8%), higher specificity (97.3% vs. 71.2%) and positive likelihood ratio (+LR: 26.32 vs. 3.23) in diagnosis of HCC. CECT produced relatively low IRA, ICA, and diagnostic ability against MR.

Conclusion:

There were substantial variations in liver observations between LI-RADS and LS. Further study is needed to investigate ICA between CECT and MR.J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;43:373–383.

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