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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Feb;50(2):120-33. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000446.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Screening and Surveillance: Practice Guidelines and Real-Life Practice.

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*Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA †Department of Cirrhosis, Institute of Liver Disease, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of T.C.M., Shanghai, P.R. China.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the seventh most common malignancy worldwide. HCC meets all the criteria established by the World Health Organization for performing surveillance on those at-risk for developing cancer. Although there are consensus guidelines in the United States, Europe, and Asia for HCC surveillance, it is unclear if these guidelines are regularly implemented in routine practice to optimize real-life clinical outcomes. We reviewed the current literature on the adherence to current HCC practice guidelines by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (2009), the European Association for the Study of the Liver (2012), and the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (2010) for screening/surveillance and outcomes of optimal versus poor adherence. We performed PubMed search for relevant articles regarding HCC surveillance and screening worldwide. Currently, HCC screening is underutilized to a large extent. In most studies, the adherence to HCC screening and surveillance is suboptimal. Various patient, provider, and health care system factors may have all contributed to such nonadherence. Strategies to improve HCC screening and surveillance are urgently needed for early HCC detection and improved survival of HCC patients. Further research is needed to elucidate the various medical and/or cultural knowledge, belief, and practice patterns that can lead to barriers to HCC screening and surveillance at both patient and provider levels. These data will help focus and target advocacy and educational efforts to improve HCC surveillance at all levels: patients, providers, and health care system/government.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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