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It is with great pleasure and honour that I introduce the March 2017 issue of Ultrasound International Open. The journal continues to grow from strength to strength with every issue and is now indexed in PubMed Central. This is a testament to the hardwork of the journal editors, editorial board, reviewers as well as the high quality publications and submissions.
This issue has a focus on contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) which is rather timely owing to the recent FDA approval of ultrasound contrast in the USA for general ultrasound use. The first article concentrates on two areas where contrast ultrasound really comes into its own particularly with paediatrics where although it is considered off-label use, it is not the same as illegal, and the benefits to patients are significant. The lack of radiation compared to CT and the ease of performing the study compared with MRI are major benefits. In the setting of blunt abdominal trauma, CEUS can significantly add to what may seem as apparently unremarkable B-mode scans, thereby altering the management of the haemodynamically stable patient.
The third article demonstrates a new and under utilised technique of using CEUS to grade and assess the degree of active inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The results appear promising and in certain circumstances can rival that of DCE-MRI. The final article again highlights a novel use of CEUS in small part/high frequency imaging and in this case, determining non-enhancing necrotic testicular tissue in severe epididymo-orchitis.
On the theme of novel use of ultrasound, this has been shown to be effective in aiding the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea and not to be left out is the superiority of fetal echocardiography which continues to increase in accuracy with clever motion tracking software.
Overall, this is an excellent issue highlighting novel uses of ultrasound and the benefits of contrast ultrasound. The articles are well written, beautifully illustrated and a “cracking” read! We hope you enjoy the selection.