Successful Integration of Contrast-enhanced US into Routine Abdominal Imaging.
Radiographics. 2018 Sep-Oct;38(5):1454-1477. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170152. Epub 2018 Jul 30.
Liu X1, Jang HJ1, Khalili K1, Kim TK1, Atri M1.
Contrast material-enhanced US is recognized increasingly as a useful tool in a wide variety of hepatic and nonhepatic applications. The modality recently was approved for limited use for liver indications in adult and pediatric patients in the United States. Contrast-enhanced US uses microbubbles of gas injected intravenously as a contrast agent to demonstrate blood flow and tissue perfusion. The growing worldwide application of contrast-enhanced US in multiple organ systems is due largely to its advantages, including high contrast resolution (sensitivity to the contrast agent), real-time imaging, lack of nephrotoxicity, the purely intravascular property of microbubble contrast agents that allows the use of disruption-replenishment techniques, and repeatability during the same examination. Through illustrative cases, common useful clinical scenarios are discussed, including characterization of liver and renal masses, especially indeterminate lesions at CT or MRI; differentiation of neoplastic cysts from nonneoplastic cysts in various organs; differentiation of tumor thrombus from bland thrombus; and assessment after a renal transplant or local ablative therapy. Common applications in the biliary system, pancreas, spleen, and vasculature also are introduced. Successful routine use of contrast-enhanced US requires an efficient setup and workflow and a thorough understanding of appropriate clinical indications and its advantages that provide added value after CT and MRI. This article familiarizes radiologists with common abdominal applications of contrast-enhanced US and guides them to implement contrast-enhanced US successfully in their clinical practice. Online supplemental material is available for this article.