Over the past 16 years, several scientific organizations have proposed systems that incorporate imaging for surveillance, diagnosis, staging, treatment, and monitoring of treatment response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These systems are needed to standardize the acquisition, interpretation, and reporting of liver imaging examinations; help differentiate benign from malignant observations; improve consistency between radiologists; and provide guidance for management of HCC. This review article discusses the historical evolution of HCC imaging systems. We indicate the features differentiating these systems, including target population, screening and surveillance algorithm, diagnostic imaging modalities, diagnostic scope, expertise and technical requirements, terminology, major and ancillary imaging features, staging and transplant eligibility, and assessment of treatment response. We highlight the potential benefits of unifying the systems, which we anticipate will enable sharing, pooling, and meta-analysis of data; facilitate multi-center trials; and accelerate dissemination of knowledge.