Contrast enhanced ultrasound for focal liver lesions: how accurate is it?
With the recent FDA approval for characterization of focal liver lesions (FLL) in both pediatric and adult patients using Lumason (sulfur hexafluoride microbubbles), increased use of ultrasound contrast for routine clinical use is expected. This agent has been available for many years in Europe and Asia, and a large body of literature is available regarding the sensitivity and specificity of this agent. In addition, a few studies have directly compared CEUS to CECT and CEMRI for the characterization of focal liver lesions. This paper reviews the literature to provide a background to investigators in the United States as to the accuracy of CEUS in the characterization of FLL. This paper reviews the literature regarding sulfur hexafluoride microbubbles (Lumason in the USA and Sonovue in the rest of the world) since it is the only FDA approved agent in the USA for characterization of FLL. The results of other ultrasound contrast agents which are not FDA approved for abdominal indications (approval for cardiac indications) most likely will have similar results.
KeywordsContrast enhanced ultrasound Focal liver lesions Sensitivity
Compliance with ethical standards
There was not funding for this study.
Conflict of interests
The author has these conflicts of interest:- Research Grants: Siemens Ultrasound, Philips Ultrasound, SuperSonic Imagine, Hitachi-Aloki. Advisory Panel; Bracco Diagnostics, Lantheus Medical. Speakers Bureau: Philips Ultrasound, Bracco Diagnostics. Royalties: Thieme Publishers.
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