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Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine


To evaluate the diagnostic performance of LR-5 for diagnosing poorly differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (p-HCC). To build a contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) signature for improving the differential diagnostic performance between p-HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC).

The B-mode ultrasound (BUS) and CEUS features of 60 p-HCCs and 56 ICCs were retrospectively analyzed. The CEUS LI-RADS category was assigned according to CEUS LI-RADS v2017. A diagnostic CEUS signature was built based on the independent significant features. An ultrasound (US) signature combining both BUS and CEUS features was also built. The diagnostic performances of the CEUS signature, US signature, and LR-5 were evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

One (1.7%) p-HCC and 26 (46.4%) ICC patients presented cholangiectasis or cholangiolithiasis (P < .001). Fifty-four (90.0%) p-HCCs and 8 (14.3%) ICCs showed clear boundaries in the artery phase (P < .001). The washout times of p-HCCs and ICCs were 81.0 ± 42.5 s and 34.7 ± 8.6 s, respectively (P < .001). The AUC, sensitivity, and specificity of the CEUS signature, US signature, and LR-5 were 0.955, 91.67%, and 90.57% versus 0.976, 96.67%, and 92.45% versus 0.758, 51.67%, and 100%, respectively. The AUC and sensitivity of CEUS LI-RADS were much lower than those of the CEUS and US signatures (P < .001).

LR-5 had high specificity but low sensitivity in diagnosing p-HCC. When the washout time and tumor boundary were included in the CEUS signature, the sensitivity and AUC were remarkably increased in the differentiation between p-HCC and ICC.

Authors:  Huan-Ling Guo MD 1, PhD, Xin Zheng MD 2, Mei-Qing Cheng MD 1, Dan Zeng MD 1, Hui Huang MD 1, Xiao-Yan Xie MD, PhD 1, Ming-De Lu MD, PhD 1, Ming Kuang MD, PhD 1, Wei Wang MD, PhD 1, Meng-Fei Xian MD 1, Li-Da Chen MD, PhD 1

1Department of Medical Ultrasonics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China;
2 Department of Medical Ultrasonics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, China

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