The introduction of second-generation microbubble ultrasound contrast agents and the development of contrast specific ultrasound techniques have improved the ability of contrast enhanced ultrasound in detecting and characterising liver lesions, offering new perspectives for its exploitation in clinical hepatology. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated a high diagnostic accuracy in focal lesion characterisation (85-96%) in patients either with or without underlying chronic liver disease. This review article describes the basic principles of contrast enhanced ultrasound, defines the different vascular features of benign and malignant liver lesions, and assesses its clinical impact in different clinical scenarios, according to the guidelines of the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, contrast enhanced ultrasound enables the characterisation of focal liver lesions, regardless of the presence or absence of underlying chronic liver disease. Contrast enhanced ultrasound is also useful in staging and follow-up of cancer patients and in monitoring local ablative treatment. Contrast enhanced ultrasound is expected to be considerably increased and replace many computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging examinations in near future, according to the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology guidelines. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures in order to meet the demand for an increasing number of these procedures. © 2006 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l.
Bolondi, L., Correas, J. M., Lencioni, R., Weskott, H. P., & Piscaglia, F. (2007, February). New perspectives for the use of contrast-enhanced liver ultrasound in clinical practice. Digestive and Liver Disease. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2006.08.008