Published online Oct 31, 2009. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v1.i1.48
Revised: September 11, 2009
Accepted: September 18, 2009
Published online: October 31, 2009
Early identification of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is more frequent because of surveillance programs for HCC worldwide. The optimal strategy of surveillance in cirrhosis is a current topical issue. In terms of diagnosis, recent advances in non-invasive imaging technology, including various techniques of harmonic ultrasound, new ultrasound contrast agents, multi-slice helical computed tomography and rapid high quality magnetic resonance, have all improved the accuracy of diagnosis. Consequently the role of liver biopsy in diagnosis of HCC has declined. The imaging diagnosis relies on the hallmark of arterial hypervascularity with portal venous washout. However, with recent advances in genomics and proteomics a great number of potential serum and tissue markers have been identified and are being developed as new candidate markers for both diagnosis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, and may increase the need for liver biopsy.