Background and Aims: Focal liver lesions (FLLs) are defined as abnormal solid or liquid masses differentiated from normal liver, frequently being clinically asymptomatic. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive overview of current artificial intelligence (AI) applications, deep learning systems and convolutional neural networks, capable of performing a completely automated diagnosis of FLLs.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and WILEY databases using predefined keywords. Articles were screened for relevant publications about AI applications capable of automated diagnosis of FLLs. The search terms included: (focal liver lesions OR FLLs OR hepatic focal lesions OR liver focal lesions OR liver tumor OR hepatic tumor) AND (artificial intelligence OR machine learning OR neural networks OR deep learning OR automated diagnosis OR ultrasound OR US OR computer scan OR CT OR magnetic resonance imaging OR MRI OR computer-aided diagnosis OR automated computer tomography OR automated magnetic imaging).

Results: Our search identified a total of 32 articles analyzing complete automated imagistic diagnosis of FLLs, out of which 14 studies analyzing liver ultrasound images, 8 studies analyzing computer tomography images and 10 studies analyzing images obtained from magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusions: We found significant evidence demonstrating that implementing a complete automated system for FLLs diagnosis using AI-based applications is currently feasible. Various automated AI-based applications have been analyzed. However, there is no clear evidence about the superiority of any of the systems.


focal liver lesions, artificial intelligence, hepatic tumors, focal hepatic lesions, machine learning, neural networks, deep learning, automated diagnosis, computer-aided diagnosis