Liver cancer reports gain structure

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The announcement from the American College of Radiology (ACR) that it has convened a committee to develop a standardized lexicon for CT and MRI surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) comes as welcome news to structured reporting advocates.

The Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) is a new method of categorization of liver findings in patients with end-stage liver disease. LI-RADS categories will allow radiologists to stratify lesions according to the level of concern for HCC and suggest strategies for follow up and management.

“There currently is no formal data collection system, limiting the ability to amass large image databases, share data among institutions, perform data mining, monitor outcomes, give feedback, and assure quality. The Committee seeks to address these problems by developing a CT-MR LI-RADS electronic manual to guide the radiology care of patients with or at risk for HCC,” said Claude Sirlin, MD, chair of the ACR LI-RADS Committee.

The ACR is seeking to replicate the success of its Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) a quality assurance tool that standardizes mammography reporting, reduces confusion in breast imaging interpretations and facilitates outcome monitoring.

The key elements of LI-RAD effort are to develop a lexicon of standardized terminology, a reporting organization and assessment structure as well as a coding system and a data collection structure.

This will allow for results to be compiled in a standardized manner that permits the maintenance and collection analysis of demographic and outcome data. In addition, results will be communicated to the referring physician in a clear, structured fashion with an assessment that indicates a specific course of action.

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In closing, if you have a comment or report to share about radiation oncology in your practice, please contact me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Batchelor, Web Editor