Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 559–567 | Cite as

Double contrast-enhanced ultrasound improves the detection and localization of occult lesions in the pancreatic tail: a initial experience report

  • Wei Zhu
  • Gang Mai
  • Xiang ZhouEmail author
  • Bin Song



The aim of this study is to review our initial experience of Double contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (DCEUS) in the preoperative detection of pancreatic tail occult tumors.


Thirty-five patients were recruited to undergo DCEUS of the pancreas suspected by occult lesions of pancreatic with MRI or clinical evidence. The radiologists assessed the images (conventional US, DCEUS, and MRI) for enhancement phases, tumor presence, location, enhancement characteristics, and tumor conspicuity. The differences in the onset times of the phases between DCEUS and MRI were noted. Tumor conspicuity was graded on a four-point scale for conspicuity comparison among three imaging modalities.


Pancreatic tail tumors were missed on conventional transabdominal US in 11 of 35 patients. DCEUS revealed 12 lesions of 35 patients. Pancreatic tail tumors were identified on MRI in 10 of 35 patients. The sensitivity and specificity of DCEUS for depicting occult lesions of ≤ 2.2 cm were 92% and 95%, respectively. In contrast, the sensitivity and specificity of conventional US were 67% and 66%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of MRI were 91% and 88%, respectively. The conspicuity ratings of the three phases did not significantly differ between the DCEUS and MRI groups (P > 0.05). The DCEUS phases started much earlier than the corresponding MRI phases.


DCEUS is a promising technique in the detection of occult pancreatic tail tumors and is possibly superior to dynamic enhanced MRI in the case of some peripheral lesions.


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound Contrast-enhanced MRI Double contrast-enhanced ultrasound Pancreatic tail tumor 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare no competing interests.

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.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Echo Lab of Cardiology, Department/Department of Ultrasound, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgery, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Interventional Radiology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer HospitalChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  4. 4.Radiology Department, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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