Modern CT and PET/CT imaging of the liver

Institut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie, Medizinische Fakultät, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Deutschland.
Der Radiologe (Impact Factor: 0.43). 08/2011; 51(8):671-9. DOI: 10.1007/s00117-010-2125-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Computed tomography (CT) is now widely available and represents an important and rapid method for the diagnostics of acute liver disease, characterization of focal liver lesions, planning of interventional therapy measures and postintervention control. In recent years CT has not become less important despite the increasing value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By the use of different contrast medium phases good characterization of space-occupying lesions can be achieved. For the diagnostics of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) a triphasic examination protocol should always be implemented. The introduction of dual energy CT increased the sensitivity of imaging of hypervascularized and hypovascularized liver lesions and by the use of virtual native imaging it has become possible to avoid additional native imaging which reduces the x-ray exposition of patients. Positron emission tomography (PET) has an advantage for imaging in oncology because nearly the complete body of the patient can be screened and this is the main indication for PET/CT (whole-body staging). For purely hepatic problems 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/CT using diagnostic CT data has a higher precision than CT alone but is inferior to MRI.

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