Diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis discontinued with liver tumors in patients with liver cirrhosis and tumors by contrast-enhanced US: A pilot study

Department of Ultrasound, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, #79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
European journal of radiology (Impact Factor: 2.16). 06/2009; 75(2):185-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.04.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed the role of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in the differential diagnosis between benign and malignant portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients who had liver tumors.
Seventeen consecutive patients who had cirrhosis, liver tumors, and PVT were prospectively studied with CEUS. CEUS was performed at low mechanical index after intravenous administration of a second-generation contrast agent (SonoVue, Bracco, Milan, Italy). Presence or absence of thrombus enhancement on CEUS were considered diagnostic for malignant or benign PVT. Five patients also underwent percutaneous portal vein fine-needle biopsy under US guidance. All patients were followed-up. Shrinkage of the thrombus and/or recanalization of the vessels on CDUS during follow-up were considered definitive evidence of the benign nature of the thrombosis, whereas the enlargement of the thrombus, disruption of the vessel wall, and parenchymal infiltration over follow-up were considered consistent with malignancy.
Follow-up showed signs of malignant thrombosis in 14 of 17 patients. CEUS showed early arterial enhancement of the PVT in 14 patients of 14 malignant PVT, 1 patient of 3 benign PVT and the absence of thrombus enhancement in 2 patients of 3 benign PVT. FNB confirmed the results for malignant PVT in four of five patients, for benign granulomatous inflammation PVT in one of five patients in which CEUS showed early arterial enhancement of the PVT. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy is 100%, 66.7% and 93.3% at diagnosis of malignant PVT using CEUS. In one patient with intrahepatic bile duct stone, CEUS were positive for malignant PVT, whereas FNB was negative (benign granulomatous inflammation PVT); follow-up examination confirmed benign PVT.
CEUS seems to be the pretty sensitive and specific test for diagnosing malignant portal vein thrombosis in patients with cirrhosis and tumors.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine the accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in differentiating malignant and benign venous thrombosis complicating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Fifty patients (M:F = 41:9; age range 46-83 years) with HCC and venous thrombosis [portal vein (PV) in 45 and hepatic vein (HV) in 5] detected on CT or MR scan were evaluated with CEUS. Reference standard of malignant and benign thrombosis was based on serial clinicoradiologic follow-up (n = 43) or pathology (n = 7). Two independent, blinded readers retrospectively recorded the enhancement features of the venous thrombosis and diagnosed as benign or malignant thrombosis with a five-point confidence scale. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated to determine the diagnostic performance of CEUS in differentiating malignant from benign thrombosis. Confidence level ratings were also used to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for the diagnosis of malignant thrombosis. Inter-reader agreement was calculated using κ statistics in each assessed finding. Gray scale and Doppler characteristics of primary tumor and thrombosis were also assessed. Of the 50 patients, 37 were malignant (33 with PV thrombosis and 4 with HV thrombosis) and 13 were benign (12 with PV thrombosis and 1 with HV thrombosis). In ROC curve analysis for differentiating malignant from benign thrombosis, Az was 0.947 (CI 0.841-0.991) for reader 1 and 0.958 (CI 0.861-0.995) for reader 2 with excellent inter-reader agreement (κ = 0.86). When the confidence level ratings of 1 or 2 were considered malignant thrombosis, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV in differentiating malignant from benign thrombosis were 100%, 83%, 95%, and 100% for reader 1 and 100%, 92%, 97%, and 100% for reader 2. CEUS is useful to differentiate malignant and benign venous thrombosis associated with HCC with high diagnostic accuracy.
    Abdominal Imaging 09/2013; 39(1). DOI:10.1007/s00261-013-0034-4 · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is being increasingly recognized in patients with advanced cirrhosis and in those undergoing liver transplantation. Reduced flow in the portal vein is probably responsible for clotting in the spleno-porto-mesenteric venous system. There is also increasing evidence that hypercoagulability occurs in advanced liver disease and contributes to the risk of PVT. Ultrasound based studies have reported a prevalence of PVT in 10–25% of cirrhotic patients without hepatocellular carcinoma. Partial thrombosis of the portal vein is more common and may not have pathophysiological consequences. However, there is high risk of progression of partial PVT to complete PVT that may cause exacerbation of portal hypertension and progression of liver insufficiency. It is thus, essential to accurately diagnose and stage PVT in patients waiting for transplantation and consider anticoagulation therapy. Therapy with low molecular weight heparin and vitamin K antagonists has been shown to achieve complete and partial recanalization in 33–45% and 15–35% of cases respectively. There are however, no guidelines to help determine the dose and therapeutic efficacy of anticoagulation in patients with cirrhosis. Anticoagulation therapy related bleeding is the most feared complication but it appears that the risk of variceal bleeding is more likely to be dependent on portal pressure rather than solely related to coagulation status. TIPS has also been reported to restore patency of the portal vein. Patients with complete PVT currently do not form an absolute contraindication for liver transplantation. Thrombectomy or thromboendovenectomy is possible in more than 75% of patients followed by anatomical end-to-end portal anastomosis. When patency of the portal vein and/or superior mesenteric vein is not achieved, only non-anatomical techniques (reno-portal anastomosis or cavo-portal hemitransposition) can be performed. These techniques, which do not fully reverse portal hypertension, are associated with higher morbidity and mortality risks in the short term.
    12/2013; 4(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jceh.2013.12.003
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Portal venous system aneurysms (PVSAs) are considered a rare disease. Ultrasound is the method of choice in the initial assessment of a suspected PVSA, by showing a focal enlargement of the portal venous system with typical color Doppler features. However, no studies have so far reported contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) findings. In this multi-center, retrospective, case series study we demonstrated, for the first time, that CEUS could be useful in the assessment and follow-up of a PVSA.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2014; DOI:10.3748/wjg.v20.i48.18375 · 2.43 Impact Factor