Optional MRI sequences for LI-RADS: why, what, and how?

Omar Kamal, Ethan Sy, Victoria Chernyak, Ayushi Gupta, Vahid Yaghmai, Kathryn Fowler, Dimitrios Karampinos, Krishna Shanbhogue, Frank H. Miller, Avinash Kambadakone, Alice Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignant tumor of the liver worldwide. Noninvasive diagnosis of HCC is possible based on imaging features, without the need for tissue diagnosis. Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) CT/MRI diagnostic algorithm allows for standardized radiological interpretation and reporting of imaging studies for patients at high risk for HCC. Diagnostic categories of LR-1 to LR-5 designate each liver observation to reflect the probability of overall malignancy, HCC, or benignity based on imaging features, where LR-5 category has > 95% probability of HCC. Optimal imaging protocol and scanning technique as described by the technical recommendations for LI-RADS are essential for the depiction of features to accurately characterize liver observations. The LI-RADS MRI technical guidelines recommend the minimum required sequences of T1-weighted out-of-phase and in-phase Imaging, T2-weighted Imaging, and multiphase T1-weighted Imaging. Additional sequences, including diffusion-weighted imaging, subtraction imaging, and the hepatobiliary phase when using gadobenate dimeglumine as contrast, improve diagnostic confidence, but are not required by the guidelines. These optional sequences can help differentiate true lesions from pseudolesions, detect additional observations, identify parenchymal observations when other sequences are suboptimal, and improve observations conspicuity. This manuscript reviews the optional sequences, the advantages they offer, and discusses technical optimization of these sequences to obtain the highest image quality and to avoid common artifacts. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-531
Number of pages13
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver imaging
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Optional MRI sequences for LI-RADS: why, what, and how?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this