Patient Preferences for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Surveillance Parameters

Sean A. Woolen, Amit G. Singal, Matthew S. Davenport, Jonathan P. Troost, Shokoufeh Khalatbari, Sukul Mittal, Sehar Siddiqui, Austin Fobar, Jason Morris, Mobolaji Odewole, Elliot B. Tapper, Anjana Pillai, Neehar D. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Professional societies recommend abdominal ultrasound (US) with or without alpha fetoprotein (AFP) for hepatocellular cancer (HCC) surveillance; however, there are several emerging surveillance modalities, including abbreviated MRI and blood-based biomarker panels. Most studies have focused on provider perspectives for surveillance logistics, but few have assessed patient preferences. We aimed to measure preferences among patients with cirrhosis regarding HCC surveillance modalities. Methods: We conducted a choice-based conjoint survey to patients with cirrhosis at four institutions. Participants were provided 15 scenarios in which they were asked to choose surveillance modalities based on five test attributes: benefits, i.e. sensitivity for early HCC (range: 35-95%), physical harm, i.e. false positives requiring additional testing (range: 10-40%), financial harm, i.e. out-of-pocket costs (range: $10-100), test logistics and convenience, i.e. duration of testing (range: 10-60 min). Hierarchical Bayes discrete choice conjoint analysis was used to derive attribute importance, and preference shares were determined by simulation. Results: In total 91% (182/199) of approached patients consented to participate in the study and 98% (n=179) successfully completed the survey. Surveillance benefits (importance: 51.3%, 95%CI: 49.0-53.4%) were valued more than risk of physical harm (importance: 7.6%, 95%CI 7.0-8.2%), financial harm (importance: 15.2%, 95%CI 14.0-16.3%), convenience (importance: 9.3%, 95%CI 8.5-10.1%) and test logistics (importance: 16.7%, 95%CI 15.4-18.1%). Based on simulations including all possible tests, patients preferred abbreviated MRI (29.0%), MRI (23.3%), or novel blood-based biomarkers (20.9%) to ultrasound alone (3.4%) or with AFP (8.8%). Conclusions: Patients with cirrhosis prioritize early HCC detection over potential surveillance-related harms or inconvenience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-215.e6
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • HCC
  • Harms
  • Screening
  • Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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