Contrast-enhanced Sonography for Liver Tumours

BI Choi

Hong Kong J Radiol 2004;7:8-13

Detection and characterisation of focal hepatic lesions are important for accurate treatment planning. Although ultrasound is considered a powerful technique for identifying focal liver lesions, its capability for lesion characterisation is suboptimal. Recently, new ultrasound contrast agents have been developed, and their clinical utility is under investigation with a variety of new ultrasound equipment, and results of recent studies are very promising. In this article, several new techniques of grey scale contrast-enhanced imaging such as pulse or phase inversion, coded harmonic imaging, and agent detection imaging are discussed. These contrast-specific grey scale ultrasound imaging techniques are extremely sensitive to the presence of microbubble agents and can evaluate microvasculature and the enhancement patterns of hepatic tumours.