Diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in differentiating benign and malignant focal liver lesions: a retrospective study.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of our early experience with contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in the characterisation of focal liver lesions (FLLs) using histopathology, contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other imaging follow-up as the standard of reference.
Seventy-three patients with 82 FLLs who underwent liver CEUS from January 2006 to December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. CEUS was performed with up to 4.8 mL of SonoVue® (Bracco, Milan, Italy) using a low mechanical index mode. The CEUS findings were compared with histopathology, or where histopathology was not available, clinical and imaging follow-up over at least 12 months was used as the standard of reference.
Of the 82 FLLs, 50 were malignant and 32 were benign at final diagnosis. CEUS correctly identified 43 malignant FLLs, with final diagnosis confirmed by histopathology in 13 lesions and clinico-radiological follow-up in 30 lesions. Twenty-nine lesions were correctly identified as benign on CEUS, with all these lesions confirmed on clinico-radiological follow-up. CEUS demonstrated a sensitivity of 86.0% and a specificity of 90.6% in the characterisation of liver lesions as malignant, with an overall accuracy of 87.8% (P < 0.05).
Our early experience has shown that CEUS can be accurate in differentiating malignant from benign FLLs and may become a useful first-line imaging tool where CT or MRI are not available or contra-indicated.
- SourceAvailable from: Gianpiero G Gravante[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The use of contrast agents (CA) with liver ultrasound (US) has gained recently an established role for the diagnosis of various hepatic diseases due to their safety, high versatility and low costs (contrast-enhanced ultrasound - CEUS). The purpose of this review is to provide a state-of-the-art summary of the available evidence for their use in the characterization of focal liver lesions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was conducted for all pre-clinical and clinical studies involving CA on hepatic US imaging. RESULTS: CEUS increases the sensitivity for lesion detection and the specificity to differentiate between benign and malignant diseases due to the enhanced visualization of the tumour microcirculation. Results achieved seem at least equivalent to those of spiral Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The association of CA with intraoperative ultrasound (CE-IOUS) has changed the surgical approach in 25% of patients and guarantees complete ablations by a single session in most of them. CONCLUSIONS: CEUS provides detailed information about tumor vasculature, improves the preoperative characterization and therefore the therapeutic strategy, and can evaluate the intraoperative completeness of the ablation.Hepatology Research 06/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Purpose: Fatty liver infiltrations and fatty sparing impair diagnostic performance of grey-scale ultrasonography in differentiating malignant and benign focal liver lesions. In the study, we present our experience in diagnosing focal fatty liver infiltrations and focal fatty sparing with contrastenhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in comparison to grey-scale ultrasonography and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT). Material and Method: The retrospective study group (n=82 patients), included 44 (53.7%) men, 38 (46.3%) women (aged 29- 81 years, mean 55.8 years) with 48 focal fatty liver infiltrations and 34 focal fatty sparing. All patients underwent grey-scale ultrasonography (US), CEUS using SonoVue® and CECT executed within the 7 days. Results: With US, CEUS and CECT focal fatty liver infiltrations were diagnosed in 22, 46 and 44 cases, respectively. The following values were obtained: sensitivity - 45.8%, 95.8% and 91.7%, specificity - 100% for all, accuracy - 95.2%, 99.6% and 99.3%, respectively. Focal fatty sparing was diagnosed in 16, 31 and 30 cases, respectively. The following values were obtained: sensitivity - 47.1%, 91.2% and 88.2%, specificity - 99.8%, 100% and 100%, accuracy - 95.6%, 99.4% and 99.3%, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found in sensitivity of diagnosing focal fatty liver infiltrations and focal fatty liver sparing between CEUS and CECT. Sensitivity of grey-scale ultrasonography was significantly lower when compared to those of CEUS and CECT (p<0.001). Conclusion: CEUS is as sensitive as CECT in focal fatty infiltrations and focal fatty sparing diagnosing. However, CEUS provides more information than CECT about the vasculature and enhancement pattern of focal fatty liver infiltrations.Advances in Medical Sciences 10/2013; · 0.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for the characterisation of focal liver lesions where the results of standard unenhanced ultrasound are inconclusive. A further recommendation is for CEUS to replace other imaging modalities. However, little is currently known about the diagnostic pathways in the National Health Service (NHS) followed by patients with potential liver lesions. The aim of this study was to identify the diagnostic pathways for a number of representative hospital trusts and record the clinicians' views on patient experiences of these processes through a series of semi-structured interviews with UK clinicians (radiologists and sonographers) (N = 7). This study was undertaken in the broader context of a larger research project where the overarching research question is focused on patient preferences for CEUS and other imaging modalities, and how these impact on patient quality of life (QOL). The results from the semi-structured interviews with UK clinicians revealed that there is a great deal of heterogeneity in diagnostic pathways followed by patients with potential liver lesions which differ both within and between hospitals. In terms of the patient experience, the clinicians believed that a combination of the more patient-friendly ultrasound process, and the fact that scan results are given to patients in 80-90% of cases on the day, as well as the problems inherent to other scan modalities (claustrophobia, anxiety) would lead to patients preferring ultrasound compared with other imaging modalities (CT or MR). However, current clinical practice means that patient choice is virtually non-existent. The significant variation in diagnostic pathways across the NHS will require further standardisation through local agreements if contrast-enhanced ultrasound is to replace other imaging modalities in characterising focal liver lesions in line with NICE Diagnostics Guidance. The gradual development of patient choice of modalities may necessitate a change of practice in radiology processes.BMC Research Notes 03/2014; 7(1):199.