Liver Cancer pp 159-181 | Cite as

Focal Liver Lesion: Nonlinear Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging

  • Vincenzo Migaleddu
  • Giuseppe Virgilio
Part of the Methods of Cancer Diagnosis, Therapy and Prognosis book series (HAYAT, volume 5)

Ultrasound (US) is the most widespread imaging modality for screening focal liver lesions. Noninvasive diagnosis (detection and characterization) of focal liver lesions is still carried out in many centers by computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) using contrast agents. Hepatic lesions have in effect characteristic perfusion and enhancement patterns during the various vascular phases, which assist characterization and in many cases make definite diagnosis possible. Conventional and Doppler US are often limited in diagnosing this kind of lesion as color Doppler vascular information of the lesion is limited (see chapter 11).

Recently, the detection and characterization of focal hepatic lesions by US has increased considerably due to the development of new nonlinear (harmonic and nonlinear fundamental) technologies that optimize detection of contrast agents. Furthermore, small lesions may not be well defined by CT or MR imaging because real-time visualization of lesion vascularization is not possible. Because contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) is a dynamic analysis that allows this, small lesions may be detected that are sometimes missed with CT or MR imaging. Positron emission tomography (PET) is proving to be a molecular imaging modality with very high sensitivity, but not competitive as the advantages do not outweigh the high cost of the exam.


Contrast Agent Arterial Phase Mechanical Index Focal Liver Lesion Harmonic Imaging 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Migaleddu
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Virgilio
    • 1
  1. 1.Sardinian Mediterranean Imaging GroupSassariItaly

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