Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with intraarterial administration of SonoVue for guidance of transarterial chemoembolization: An initial experience.

Hippocrates Moschouris, Katerina Malagari, Marianna Kalokairinou, Konstantinos Stamatiou, Athanasios Marinis, Marina Georgiou Papadaki


Aims: To describe the technique and to evaluate the feasibility of contrast-enhanced ultrasound with intraarterial administration of echo-enhancer (i.a CEUS) as a method for guidance of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Patients and methods: Twelve patients with 17 target liver tumors underwent superselective TACE, guided with i.a CEUS. After microcatheter placement in a (sub)segmental artery suspected as a tumor feeder, a diluted suspension of SonoVue was injected through the microcatheter, and imaging of the target tumor was performed with a low mechanical index technique and with contrast-specific software. If intraarterial injection of SonoVue was associated with immediate, strong tumoral enhancement, the injected artery was considered as tumor-feeding and TACE was performed, otherwise another artery was evaluated. Results: From 25 segmental or subsegmental arteries evaluated i.a CEUS confirmed that 16 arteries were actually tumor feeders and unequivocal excluding 4 arteries as a tumor arterial supply. The remainder 5 arterial branches could not be safely characterized due to artifacts or technical limitations. In 8 patients in which tumoral vascular supply could not be elucidated by angiography alone, i.a CEUS increased the accuracy of supereselective embolization, and provided other clinically relevant information in 2 of these patients. No adverse effects were observed. Conclusions: For guidance of superselective TACE i.a CEUS is a safe and feasible method.


liver tumors; transarterial chemoembolization; ccontrast enhanced ultrasonography

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