PURPOSE: To determine the computed tomographic (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging appearances of early advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven surgically resected cases of early advanced HCC were studied with CT, CT during arterial portography, CT arteriography, and MR imaging. RESULTS: The sensitivity of standard CT (unenhanced, early, and late CT combined) for the detection of early advanced HCC was 81%, while that of standard MR imaging (T1- and T2-weighted MR imaging combined) was 83%. A nodule-in-nodule appearance was identified in approximately one-third to one-half of cases. Signal behavior of early and advanced components of early advanced HCC followed the expected behaviors of isolated early HCC and isolated advanced HCC, respectively. Tumor size was accurately estimated with standard CT and standard MR imaging. CONCLUSION: More research must be performed to ascertain whether any relationship exists between the different types of HCC and the clinical outcome.
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