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Approach of the patient with a liver mass
  1. Carlos Rodríguez de Lope1,
  2. María E Reig1,3,
  3. Anna Darnell2,
  4. Alejandro Forner1,3
  1. 1Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Group, Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Group, Radiology Department, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBEREHD), Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alejandro Forner, BCLC Group, Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, CIBEREHD, University of Barcelona, c/Villarroel 170, Barcelona E-08036, Spain; aforner{at}


The widespread use of imaging techniques has led to an increased diagnosis of incidental liver tumours. The differential diagnosis is extremely broad since it may range from benign asymptomatic lesions to malignant neoplasms. The correct characterisation of a liver mass has become a diagnostic challenge for most clinicians. They can be divided in two major categories; cystic lesions, usually benign with excellent long-term outcome, and solid lesions, in which malignancy should be excluded. A particular population is those patients with cirrhosis, who have high risk for hepatocellular carcinoma development. Dynamic imaging techniques have a pivotal role in the diagnostic work-up of liver tumours, allowing a confident diagnosis in most cases. If imaging is not conclusive, a biopsy should be requested to obtain a definitive diagnosis.

  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Computer Tomography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Ultrasonography

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