The abilities of computed tomography (CT; scanning time = 2.7 min), gray scale ultrasonography, and radionuclide imaging to detect and characterize space occupying processes in the liver were compared. A numerical rating scale which emphasized detection abilities resulted in ultrasonography scoring 3.5, CT 3.2, and radionuclide imaging 2.9. CT resulted in no false positives and 6 false negatives, caused mainly by motion artifacts. The simplest technique, radionuclide imaging, also had the smallest number (2) of false negatives; it is therefore recommended as the screening procedure of choice. Sonography or CT should be done for those patients with a prior suspicious finding.