Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound for the characterization of focal liver lesions

Ioan Sporea, Radu Badea, Alina Martie, Roxana Sirli, Mihai Socaciu, Alina Popescu


Aim: to present the practice of two experienced centres concerning the use of contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in the characterization of focal liver lesions (FLL). Material and method: A prospective, bicentric study, between 09.2009- 09.2010 was undertaken and 729 FLL (506-Center A, 223-Center B) were evaluated. A CEUS examination was considered conclusive, if the FLL had a typical enhancement pattern according to EFSUMB Guidelines. Results: From the 729 cases with FLL, 389 (53.4%) were patients without known and 340 (46.6%) with known chronic liver disease. CEUS was conclusive for the diagnosis in 597/729 cases (82%) and allowed the positive diagnosis of benign vs. malignant lesion in 662/729 (90.8%) FLL. For each center independently (Center A vs. Center B) the situation was as follows: conclusive for the diagnosis 390/506 (77.1%) vs 207/223 (92.8%) (p<0.0001), conclusive for the differentiation benign/malignant 449/506 (88.7%) vs. 213/223 (95.5%) (p=0.0032). Conclusion: In our bicentric study, CEUS was conclusive for diagnosis in 82% of FLL and the benign or malignant character of a lesion was demonstrated in 90.8% of cases. Thus, when faced with an uncharacteristic FLL on standard ultrasound, our local strategy in both centers was to perform CEUS as a first-line investigation thus avoiding other expensive examinations.


ultrasound contrast agent (Sono Vue); focal liver lesions; contrast enhanced ultrasound

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