LI-RADS major features: CT, MRI with extracellular agents, and MRI with hepatobiliary agents

Cynthia Santillan, Kathryn Fowler, Yuko Kono, Victoria Chernyak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) was designed to standardize the interpretation and reporting of observations seen on studies performed in patients at risk for development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The LI-RADS algorithm guides radiologists through the process of categorizing observations on a spectrum from definitely benign to definitely HCC. Major features are the imaging features used to categorize observations as LI-RADS 3 (intermediate probability of malignancy), LIRADS 4 (probably HCC), and LI-RADS 5 (definite HCC). Major features include arterial phase hyperenhancement, washout appearance, enhancing capsule appearance, size, and threshold growth. Observations that have few major criteria are assigned lower categories than those that have several, with the goal of preserving high specificity for the LR-5 category of Definite HCC. The goal of this paper is to discuss LI-RADS major features, including definitions, rationale for selection as major features, and imaging examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • CT
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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