Purpose: The purpose of this work was to determine the sensitivity of hepatic digital subtraction arteriography (DSA) for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and dysplastic nodules (DNs) when compared with pathological findings from whole liver explants. Method: Twenty-one patients 30-72 years old (mean 54 years) with cirrhosis and known or clinically suspected HCC (20 prior to chemoembolization) underwent hepatic DSA with subsequent transplantation within 80 days (mean 32 days). The prospective DSA report was compared with pathologic findings from explanted livers. Results: Overall, DSA detected 31 of 95 HCC lesions for a sensitivity of 33%. Of these 31 lesions, 28 were hypervascular and 3 were hypovascular. DSA detected all six HCCs measuring >5 cm, all six HCCs measuring 3-5 cm, and all five HCCs 2-3 cm, resulting in a sensitivity of 100% (17/17) for HCC >2 cm. DSA detected 7 of 18 HCCs measuring 1-2 cm (sensitivity 39%) and 7 of 60 HCCs ≤1 cm (sensitivity 12%). Overall sensitivity for DSA in detection of HCC ≤2 cm was 18% (14/78 lesions). None of 17 DNs (0.2-1.5 cm in size) was identified on DSA. Conclusion: DSA is insensitive to small HCC (≤2 cm), carcinomatosis arising within nodules, and DN.
- Digital subtraction arteriography
- Liver, cirrhosis
- Liver, neoplasm
- Liver, nodules
- Liver, transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging