Published online Jun 26, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i12.1367
Peer-review started: February 20, 2019
First decision: March 11, 2019
Revised: April 7, 2019
Accepted: May 2, 2019
Article in press: May 3, 2019
Published online: June 26, 2019
Core tip: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Current HCC screening and diagnostic guidelines are based on imaging techniques-ultrasonography for screening, and dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound for diagnosis. The use of biomarkers is promising but the diverse aetiology and complex pathophysiological mechanisms of HCC make it difficult to find an ideal combination. This review systematically summarizes the existing data on the role of biomarkers in early diagnosis and prognosis of HCC, to promote efforts to find alternatives to the imaging investigations which are expensive and not always accepted by patients.