Table 6

Model representing the number and the estimated aggregate and per patient cost of the radiological and histological procedures utilised for the assessment of the 55 nodules 1–2 cm in size in 54 patients with cirrhosis, stratified by the different diagnostic protocols based on different sequences of investigations

Stepwise imaging evaluationNo. of exams
First stepSecond stepThird stepCE-USCTMRI (§)FNB (*)Aggregate cost (Euros)Total cost per patient (Euros)
Study criteria
AASLD criteria
CE-US and CTMRI5554114326440479g
CE-US and MRICT5516524330922558h
CT and MRICE-US1154524333898623i
  • Statistically significative differences: a vs i=0.03; b vs i=0.048; c vs i=0.04; e vs g=0.003; f vs g=0.004; g vs h=0.0002; g vs i=0.0001; h vs i=0.0007.

  • * Not performed in two patients due to contraindications.

  • FNB performed in nodules with undefined radiological diagnosis. 33 vs 43 FNB procedures: p=0.031.

  • HCC diagnosis by at least one single imaging technique.

  • § HCC diagnosis by at least two imaging techniques performed at the same time point.

  • CE-US, contrast-enhanced ultrasound; FNB, fine needle biopsy.