Contrast Ultrasonography - A necessary procedure for a better characterization of digestive tract pathology

Radu Badea, Lidia Ciobanu, Adriana Gomotirceanu, Claudia Hagiu, Mihai Socaciu


The pathology of the digestive tract, extremely popular, with equal sex distribution, can have a clinical history of chronic illness or emergency. Diagnosis is based on endoscopy (identifies the lesion, permits histological sample under visual control, and minimally invasive treatment for polypoid benign tumors). Ultrasonography, being non-invasive and very accessible, is often used as the initial imaging procedure to detect or exclude digestive pathology with similar symptoms. Understanding digestive ultrasound is conditioned by the image quality which can be achieved by removing air and food debris. Even so, the characteristics of the inflammatory diseases and the detection of tumors, particularly those with endoluminal development, can be difficult. In recent years transabdominal ultrasound examination of the digestive tract was supplemented with more precise methods of investigation of the lumen and circulation of the intestinal wall. These methods are represented by the administration of oral or ano-rectal homogenous substances (hydrosonography) and the by intravenous administration of agents containing stabilized microbubbles (CEUS). With these methods useful information are being obtained, high in sensitivity and specificity of lesions characterization. Judicious selection of the cases and of the examination technique remains the key to a successful diagnosis in all situations.


digestive tract; endoluminal contrast; intravenous contrast; transabdominal ultrasound; contrast agents; microbubbles

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