Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 948–959 | Cite as

Applications of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in the pediatric abdomen

  • Aikaterini Ntoulia
  • Sudha A. Anupindi
  • Kassa Darge
  • Susan J. Back


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a radiation-free, safe, and in specific clinical settings, highly sensitive imaging modality. Over the recent decades, there is cumulating experience and a large volume of published safety and efficacy data on pediatric CEUS applications. Many of these applications have been directly translated from adults, while others are unique to the pediatric population. The most frequently reported intravenous abdominal applications of CEUS in children are the characterization of focal liver lesions, monitoring of solid abdominal tumor response to treatment, and the evaluation of intra-abdominal parenchymal injuries in selected cases of blunt abdominal trauma. The intravesical CEUS application, namely contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography (ceVUS), is a well-established, pediatric-specific imaging technique entailing the intravesical administration of ultrasound contrast agents for detection and grading of vesicoureteral reflux. In Europe, all pediatric CEUS applications remain off-label. In 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the most commonly used worldwide second-generation ultrasound contrast SonoVue®/Lumason® for pediatric liver and intravesical applications, giving new impetus to pediatric CEUS worldwide.


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound CEUS Children Pediatric population Intravenous Intravesical Intracavitary Applications IV CEUS ceVUS Safety 


Compliance with ethical standards


No external funding was secured for this study.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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