Contrast enhanced ultrasound in liver imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Ultrasound contrast agents were originally introduced to enhance the Doppler signals when detecting vessels with low velocity flow or when imaging conditions were sub-optimal. Contrast agents showed additional properties, it was discovered that a parenchymal enhancement phase in the liver followed the enhancement of the blood pool. Contrast agents have made ultrasound scanning more accurate in detection and characterization of focal hepatic lesions and the sensitivity is now comparable with CT and MRI scanning. Further, analysis of the transit time of contrast agent through the liver seems to give information on possible hepatic involvement, not only from focal lesions but also from diffuse benign parenchymal disease. The first ultrasound contrast agents were easily destroyed by the energy from the sound waves but newer agents have proved to last for longer time and hereby enable real-time scanning and make contrast enhancement suitable for interventional procedures such as biopsies and tissue ablation. Also, in monitoring the effect of tumour treatment contrast agents have been useful. A brief overview is given on some possible applications and on different techniques using ultrasound contrast agents in liver imaging. At present, the use of an ultrasound contrast agent that allows real-time scanning with low mechanical index is to be preferred.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue numberSUPPL.
Pages (from-to)S3-S8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

    Research areas

  • Characterization, Focal hepatic lesions, Monitoring, Sensitivity, Ultrasound contrast agents

ID: 331493891