Source Department of Digestive Diseases and Internal Medicine, University of Bologna-Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi Bologna, Via Albertoni, 15, 40138, Bologna, Italy, email@example.com.
Hepatocellular carcinoma represents the main cause of death in patients with Child-A cirrhosis. Surveillance programs aimed at the early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, at potentially treatable stages, are mandatory in Child-A cirrhotic patients and in Child-B cirrhotic patients, provided liver transplantation can be pursued. Surveillance allows stage migration and in definite subgroups of patients, it improves survival as well. Even though several circulating markers have been tested, none of them, including serum AFP determination, is actually recommended in the setting of surveillance. Thus ultrasound scan is the only recommended test, and it should be performed at 6-month intervals. Upon detection of a new nodule, a diagnostic algorithm based on the size of the nodule should be applied. In the western countries, the BCLC proposal is the most widely used and validated staging system and it helps to choice of the best treatment option even though each patient deserves a multidisciplinary evaluation due to the complexity of the coexistence of two diseases: hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis.