Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in advanced chronic liver disease

To assess the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for the diagnosis of HCC of any size and at any stage in people with chronic advanced liver disease.

To assess the diagnostic accuracy of CEUS for the diagnosis of resectable HCC in people with chronic advanced liver disease. The definition of resectable HCC is a neoplasm amenable to surgical radical resection according to the Milan criteria and the current guidelines, that is a single lesion with a maximum diameter of less than 5 cm or fewer than three lesions with a maximum diameter of 3 cm (Mazzaferro 1996; Omata 2017; EASL 2018; Heimbach 2018).

To identify potential sources of heterogeneity, we will investigate the effects of the following: study date; inclusion of participants without cirrhosis; study location; different role of CEUS in the diagnostic clinical pathway; different HCC stage; different liver cirrhosis aetiology; different reference standard; mean HCC diameter; prevalence of the target condition; and type of contrast media.

This is a protocol.

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