The microvascular invasion of cancer cells (mvi) is a good prognostic factor after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study is to predict mvi in patients with HCC who were candidates for OLT. We studied 218 patients with HCC resections who had HCC without any extrahepatic metastases and vascular invasion detected during preoperative evaluation. We analyzed the clinico-pathological data of these patients to predict the mvi presence. The mvi prediction scoring system was made and the accuracy of this system was examined using independent clinico-pathologic factors. The size and histological grade of the tumor were significantly correlated with the mvi. The des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) is a mvi predictor. The sensitivity of our mvi prediction system was 75% and the specificity was 85% in 32 patients who underwent living-donor liver transplantations for HCC. Our study shows that besides the tumor size and histological grade, a measurement of the serum DCP levels could be a good predictor for mvi. A tumor biopsy and a preoperative measurement of DCP could improve the selection of patients with HCC for OLT. Our scoring system for mvi provides us a precise prediction of the presence of mvi. J. Surg. Oncol. 2007;95:235–240. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.