The aim of this study was to investigate the application value of thyroid puncture biopsy guided by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). A total of 48 patients with 51 solid thyroid nodules (suspected papillary thyroid carcinoma, PTC) were enrolled in the study. Following detection by conventional ultrasonography and CEUS, puncture biopsy of the suspicious lesions guided by conventional ultrasonography and CEUS was conducted, respectively. Then, pathological diagnosis was performed. The number of PTC positive nodules and puncture points detected by the two methods were compared. In 51 nodules with 310 punctures, 44 nodules (86.3%, 44/51) and 240 punctures (77.4%, 240/310) were pathologically diagnosed as PTC. In the 44 nodules diagnosed as PTC, 43 and 34 nodules were detected by CEUS and conventional ultrasound, respectively, with a significant difference between the two methods (P=0.022). Eleven (25%) nodules were independently detected by CEUS. The sensitivity and accuracy of puncture point detection by CEUS (82.9 and 82.6%, respectively) were significantly higher compared with those of conventional ultra-sound (48.3 and 56.5%, respectively; P<0.001). The specificity of puncture points detected by CEUS (81.4%) was significantly lower compared with that by conventional ultrasound (84.3%; P=0.009). Compared with conventional ultrasound, a greater number of PTC-positive nodules were detected by CEUS, with increased sensitivity and accuracy of the puncture points.
contrast-enhanced ultrasound; ultrasound; papillary thyroid carcinoma; puncture biopsy
To determine the potential application of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in the characterisation of focal liver lesions encountered in radiological practice at a district general hospital.
Materials & Methods
Retrospective analysis of 68 sequential patients undergoing contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) of liver. All patients were referred for CEUS following identification of 1 or more focal liver lesions on conventional ultrasound or CT imaging. After baseline US examination (Acuson), a bolus of 1.0-2.4 ml of SonoVue (Bracco, UK) was administered intravenously. CEUS images were obtained during arterial, portal venous and delayed phases. Patients were followed up for a mean period of 6 months. The CEUS diagnosis was compared to that indicated by other imaging modalities, histopathology, and clinical follow up.
CEUS correctly identified malignant liver lesions in 19 patients, with the final diagnosis confirmed by histopathology in 5 cases and clinico-radiological follow up in 14 cases. 47 patients were correctly identified with benign liver lesions on CEUS imaging, with all these cases confirmed on clinico-radiological follow up. In the detection of malignancy, the sensitivity was 95.0% and the specificity was 97.9%
In our experience to date, contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is highly accurate in characterising malignant and benign focal liver lesions. It therefore has significant potential for utilisation in most general radiology departments.
Ultrasound; Liver; Contrast
The purposes of this paper were to present the current status of contrast-enhanced transrectal ultrasound imaging and to discuss the latest achievements and techniques now under preclinical testing.
Although grayscale transrectal ultrasound is the standard method for prostate imaging, it lacks accuracy in the detection and localization of prostate cancer. With the introduction of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), perfusion imaging of the microvascularization became available. By this, cancer-induced neovascularisation can be visualized with the potential to improve ultrasound imaging for prostate cancer detection and localization significantly. For example, several studies have shown that CEUS-guided biopsies have the same or higher PCa detection rate compared with systematic biopsies with less biopsies needed.
Materials and methods
This paper describes the current status of CEUS and discusses novel quantification techniques that can improve the accuracy even further. Furthermore, quantification might decrease the user-dependency, opening the door to use in the routine clinical environment. A new generation of targeted microbubbles is now under pre-clinical testing and showed avidly binding to VEGFR-2, a receptor up-regulated in prostate cancer due to angiogenesis. The first publications regarding a targeted microbubble ready for human use will be discussed.
Ultrasound-assisted drug delivery gives rise to a whole new set of therapeutic options, also for prostate cancer. A major breakthrough in the future can be expected from the clinical use of targeted microbubbles for drug delivery for prostate cancer diagnosis as well as treatment.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Prostate cancer; TRUS; Targeted microbubbles; Quantification
Purpose. Bladder cancer is a frequent cause of haematuria in elderly patients, and bladder ultrasound (US) is a valuable tool in diagnosing these malignancies. We examined the accuracy of 3D bladder US in diagnosing bladder tumors in patients with haematuria. Patients and Methods. Twenty-one patients observed in the emergency department for haematuria underwent a kidney and bladder US. Patients with normal or uncertain bladder US findings underwent a 3D US and a cystoscopy. Results. In 5 (23.8%) patients, the 3D US detected bladder tumours not seen in 2D US. All these patients were found to have bladder tumours on cystoscopy. Another 5 (23.8%) patients with uncertain findings on 2D US had normal 3D US and cystoscopy. 3D US showed a sensitivity of 83.3% and a specificity of 100% with a positive predicted value and negative predictive values of 100% and 93.8%, respectively. Conclusion. 3D US was more sensitive than 2D US in diagnosing bladder tumours in patients with haematuria.
Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is an imaging technique which appeared on the market around the year 2000 and proposed for the detection of liver metastases in gastrointestinal cancer patients, a setting in which accurate staging plays a significant role in the choice of treatment.
A total of 109 patients with colorectal (n = 92) or gastric cancer prospectively underwent computed tomography (CT) scan and conventional US evaluation followed by real time CEUS. A diagnosis of metastases was made by CT or, for lesions not visibile at CT, the diagnosis was achieved by histopathology or by a malignant behavior during follow-up.
Of 109 patients, 65 were found to have metastases at presentation. CEUS improved sensitivity in metastatic livers from 76.9% of patients (US) to 95.4% (p <0.01), while CT scan reached 90.8% (p = n.s. vs CEUS, p < 0.01 vs US). CEUS and CT were more sensitive than US also for detection of single lesions (87 with US, 122 with CEUS, 113 with CT). In 15 patients (13.8%), CEUS revealed more metastases than CT, while CT revealed more metastases than CEUS in 9 patients (8.2%) (p = n.s.).
CEUS is more sensitive than conventional US in the detection of liver metastases and could be usefully employed in the staging of patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Findings at CEUS and CT appear to be complementary in achieving maximum sensitivity.
Bladder cancer ranks 4th overall in the number of newly diagnosed cancers and 10th in causes of cancer deaths. More than 90% of all cases of bladder cancer are transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). The goal of this study is to confirm the usefulness of low mechanical index contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS), also in association with time–intensity curves, in the differentiation between high- and low-grade bladder malignant lesions.
Materials and methods
From February 2006 to February 2012 we recruited 144 patients. All patients underwent grayscale ultrasonography (US), color-Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS) and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS). Subsequently all patients underwent cystoscopy and TURB.
Histological diagnoses were: 88 high-grade carcinomas (61.1%), and 56 low-grade carcinomas (38.9%). Sensitivity and specificity of CDUS were 87.5% (126/144) and 60%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of CEUS were 90.9% and 85.7%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of TIC were 91.6% (132/144) and 85.7%, respectively.
Discussion and conclusions
CEUS is a reliable noninvasive method for differentiating low- and high-grade bladder carcinomas since it provides typical enhancement patterns as well as specific contrast-sonographic perfusion curves.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography, CEUS; Bladder cancer; Time-intensity curves; Color-Doppler ultrasonography, CDUS
AIM: To evaluate whether contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) might also be used for response prediction and early response evaluation in patients receiving bevacizumab based chemotherapy for metastasized colorectal cancer.
METHODS: Thirty consecutive patients with non primary resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer underwent CEUS before treatment (CEUS date 1) and before the second (CEUS date 2) and fourth (CEUS date 3) cycle of bevacizumab based chemotherapy. Three parameters [PEAK, Time to peak (TTP) and RISE RATE]were correlated with radiological response.
RESULTS: For neoadjuvant purpose a reduction of tumour mass was required to assume clinical response. Based on these response criteria there was a significant (P < 0.001) correlation in TTP between metastases of responders (9.08 s) and non-responders (14.76 s) archived on CEUS date 1. By calculating a standardized quotient (metastases divided by normal liver tissue) we were able to define a cut off, predicting response with a sensitivity of 92.3 % and a specificity of 100 %. To reflect a palliative intention only those patients with progressive disease were classified as non-responders. In this stetting TTP was also significantly (P < 0.01) different between responders and non-responders. In contrast, Peak and Rise rate did not show any significant difference between responder and non-responder.
CONCLUSION: CEUS might serve as a surrogate marker to predict treatment response in patients with metastasized colorectal cancer who receive antiangiogenic therapy.
Colorectal cancer; Liver metastases; Response prediction to chemotherapy; Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Bevacizumab
Conventional ultrasound (US) is the recommended imaging method for lymph node (LN) diseases with the advantages of high resolution, real time evaluation and relative low costs. Current indications of transcutaneous ultrasound and endoscopic ultrasound include the detection and characterization of lymph nodes and the guidance for LN biopsy. Recent advances in US technology, such as contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), contrast enhanced endoscopic ultrasound (CE-EUS), and real time elastography show potential to improve the accuracy of US for the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant lymph nodes. In addition, CEUS and CE-EUS have been also used for the guidance of fine needle aspiration and assessment of treatment response. Complementary to size criteria, CEUS could also be used to evaluate response of tumor angiogenesis to anti-angiogenic therapies. In this paper we review current literature regarding evaluation of lymphadenopathy by new and innovative US techniques.
Lymph nodes; Ultrasound; Endoscopic ultrasound; Lymph node metastasis; Lymphoma
AIM: To investigate the features of hepatic paragonimiasis on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging.
METHODS: Fifteen patients with hepatic paragonimiasis who were admitted to our hospital between March 2008 and August 2012 were enrolled to this study. The conventional ultrasound and CEUS examinations were performed with a Philips IU22 scanner with a 1-5-MHz convex transducer. After conventional ultrasound scanning was completed, the CEUS study was performed. Pulse inversion harmonic imaging was used for CEUS. A bolus injection of 2.4 mL of a sulfur hexafluoride-filled microbubble contrast agent (SonoVue) was administered. CEUS features were retrospectively reviewed and correlated with pathological findings.
RESULTS: In total, 16 lesions were detected on CEUS. The mean size of the lesions was 4.4 ± 1.6 cm (range, 1.7-6.6 cm). Subcapsular location was found in 12 lesions (75%). All the lesions were hypoechoic. Six lesions (37.5%) were of mixed content, seven (43.8%) were solid with small cystic areas, and the other three (18.8%) were completely solid. Ten lesions (62.5%) were rim enhanced with irregular tract-like nonenhanced internal areas. Transient wedge-shaped hyperenhancement of the surrounding liver parenchyma was seen in seven lesions (43.8%). Areas with hyper- or iso-enhancement in the arterial phase showed contrast wash-out and appeared hypoenhanced in the late phase. The main pathological findings included: (1) coagulative or liquefactive necrosis within the lesion, infiltration of a large number of eosinophils with the formation of chronic eosinophilic abscesses and sporadic distribution of Charcot-Leyden crystals; and (2) hyperplasia of granulomatous and fibrous tissue around the lesion.
CONCLUSION: Subcapsular location, hypoechogenicity, rim enhancement and tract-like nonenhanced areas could be seen as the main CEUS features of hepatic paragonimiasis.
Paragonimiasis; Liver; Infection; Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
A single-centre, prospective trial was performed aiming to assess the impact of narrow-band imaging (NBI) cystoscopy in cases of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) in comparison to standard white light cystoscopy (WLC).
Materials and methods:
A total of 95 NMIBC-suspected consecutive cases were enrolled. The inclusion criteria were hematuria, positive urinary cytology or ultrasound suspicion of bladder tumors. All patients underwent WLC and NBI cystoscopy. Standard resection was performed for all lesions visible in white light and NBI transurethral resection of bladder tumors for only NBI-observed tumors.
The overall detection rates of NMIBC and carcinoma in situ (CIS) were significantly improved for NBI (96.2% versus 87.2% and 100% versus 66.7% respectively). Also, NBI cystoscopy showed significantly superior detection for CIS, pTa and overall tumors (95.2% versus 61.9%, 93.9% versus 85.2% and 94.8% versus 83.9% respectively). Additional tumors were diagnosed by NBI in a significant proportion of patients with CIS, pTa, pT1 and NMIBC (55.5% versus 11.1%, 26.5% versus 10.2%, 30% versus 10% and 30.8% versus 10.3%). Postoperative treatment was significantly improved due to NBI results (16.7% versus 5.1%).
NBI cystoscopy represents a valuable diagnostic alternative in patients with NMIBC, with significant improvement in tumor visual accuracy as well as detection. This approach provides a substantial improvement to bladder cancer therapeutic management.
narrow-band imaging cystoscopy; non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer; transurethral resection of bladder tumors; white light cystoscopy
Patients with liver cirrhosis are at increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Conventional or baseline ultrasound (BUS) is often used as the first-line tool for HCC surveillance or detection, but the accuracy of BUS in HCC detection or differentiation from other focal liver lesions (FLLs) is limited. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) represents a recent revolution in the field of ultrasonography and it has become increasingly important in the detection and evaluation of FLLs. In CEUS, HCC typically exhibits arterial hyper-enhancement and portal-venous washout represented by hypo-enhanced lesions in the portal venous and late phases. The detection rate of HCC was significantly higher with CEUS compared with BUS. Even regenerative or some dysplastic nodules may exhibit arterial hyper-enhancement as they are differentiated from HCC by its iso-enhancing pattern in portal and late phases. The contrast-enhancement patterns of other different types of benign and malignant FLLs, as well as their detection rates with CEUS, were also discussed.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Cirrhosis; Focal liver lesions; Metastatic liver cancer; Hepatocellular carcinoma
The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging features of hepatic angiomyolipoma (AML) on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). The imaging features of 12 pathologically proven hepatic AML lesions in 10 patients who had undergone baseline ultrasound (BUS) and CEUS examinations were evaluated retrospectively. The enhancement extent, pattern and dynamic change, along with the enhancement process, on CEUS were analysed. The diagnostic results of BUS and CEUS before pathological examination were also recorded. The results showed that 75% (9/12) of the AML lesions exhibited mixed echogenicity on BUS and most showed remarkable hyperechogenicity in combination with a hypoechoic or anechoic portion. Arterial flow signals were detected in 75% (9/12) of the lesions on colour Doppler imaging. On CEUS, 66.7% (n = 8) of the 12 lesions exhibited hyperenhancement in the arterial phase, slight hyperenhancement (n = 2) or isoenhancement (n = 6) in the portal phase, and slight hyperenhancement (n = 1) or isoenhancement (n = 7) in the late phase. Three (25%) lesions exhibited hyperenhancement in the arterial phase and hypoenhancement in both portal and late phases. One (8.3%) lesion exhibited hypoenhancement throughout the CEUS process. Before pathological examination with BUS, only 3 (25%) lesions were correctly diagnosed as hepatic AML. Conversely, on CEUS, correct diagnoses were made for 66.8% (8/12) of hepatic AMLs. Therefore, arterial hyperenhancement and subsequent sustained enhancement on CEUS were found in the majority of hepatic AMLs. The combination of BUS and CEUS leads to the correct diagnosis in the majority of hepatic AMLs, and is higher than the success rate achieved by BUS alone.
We report a case study of the application of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) for intraoperative monitoring of thermal ablation of a single focus of prostate cancer.
A patient presented with biopsy-proven, solitary-focus, low-risk prostate cancer and was recruited into a clinical trial of interstitial laser thermal focal therapy. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to locate the single dominant focus, and photothermal ablation was performed at the tumour site under the guidance of transrectal ultrasonography. Transrectal CEUS using systemic bolus injections of the intravascular contrast agent Definity was performed immediately before, several times during and on completion of therapy. Lesions observed on CEUS were compared with treatment effect as measured by tissue devascularization on 1-week gadolinium (Gd)–enhanced MRI.
Baseline images showed CEUS contrast-agent signal throughout the prostate. During and after treatment, large hypocontrast regions were observed surrounding the treatment fibres, indicating the presence of an avascular lesion resulting from photothermal therapy. Lesion size was found to increase during the delivery of thermal energy. Lesion size measured using CEUS (16 × 11 mm) was similar to the 7-day lesion measured using Gd-enhanced T1-weighted MRI.
Focal therapy for prostate cancer requires both complete treatment of the dominant tumour focus and minimal morbidity. The application of CEUS during therapy appears to provide an excellent measure of the actual treatment effect. Hence, it can be used to ensure that the therapy encompasses the whole target but does not extend to surrounding critical structures. Future clinical studies are planned with comparisons of intraoperative CEUS to Gd-enhanced MRI at 7 days and whole-mount pathology samples.
To evaluate the diagnostic performance of ultrasonography using second-generation contrast agent in the study of patients with focal prostate lesions and increased serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level.
Materials and methods
Six consecutive patients (age range: 72–87 years) with increased PSA (≥4 ng/ml) underwent transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) followed by contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) with injection of second-generation contrast agent. All patients showed areas of abnormal echostructure suspicious for neoplastic lesions. On the basis of CEUS, a time/intensity curve of the suspected area was compared to that of a normal-appearing distant area of the gland and to the results of biopsy of the hypoechoic area.
At CEUS two different patterns of enhancement were identified and considered to be significant: pattern 1 characterized by a rapid rise in the time/intensity curve of the suspected area compared with the normal gland. Two out of six patients had this pattern and biopsy showed cancer in the biopsied area. Pattern 2 was characterized by a similar rise in the time/intensity curve of the suspected area compared with the normal gland. Four out of six patients had this pattern and biopsy showed prostatitis in the biopsied area.
CEUS using second-generation contrast agent can on the basis of time/intensity curves show differences in vascularization in normal and pathological tissue. Evaluation of the two patterns seems to be useful for identifying areas requiring biopsy, particularly when peripheral hypoechoic areas are observed at TRUS. Our data need to be confirmed in a larger patient population.
Prostate; Ultrasonography; Contrast media
To evaluate the response of breast cancers to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with second-generation contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and magnetic resonance (MR).
Materials and Methods
We studied 16 women aged 33–74 years (mean, 53 years; median, 38 years) with locally advanced breast carcinoma or large operable breast cancer (>2 cm; T2–T4, N0–N3, M0) that had been detected by mammography, conventional ultrasonography, and biopsy. CEUS (with SonoVue, 5 ml) and MR (with Gd-DTPA; 0.2 mM/kg) were performed under blinded conditions before, during, and after 6–8 cycles of NAC. Lesions were measured and time/signal intensity (T/SI) curves were calculated during both the examinations. The data obtained were analyzed in light of the results of surgical pathology.
Six patients had complete responses manifested by the disappearance of enhancement at both CEUS and MR. Six others had partial responses (reduction of lesion enhancement >50%). In 5/6, T/SI curves obtained with CEUS and MR were both indicative of malignancy (flat curves at CEUS, type I curves at MR); the sixth had a discontinuous curve at CEUS and a type II curve at MR. Four patients had lesional enhancement reductions of <50%. In 3, concordant pictures emerged from the analysis of T/SI curves (discontinuous curves in CEUS, type II and III curves in MR); the fourth had a flat CEUS curve and a type I MR curve. Responses to NAC classified on the basis of MR and CEUS findings showed good correlation with the pathological response.
T/SI curves recorded during CEUS correlate with those obtained during MR and may be a valid index of response to the therapy.
Breast ultrasonography; Breast cancer; Contrast media; Contrast-enhanced US; MRI
Assessing the feasibility and efficiency of interventions using ultrasound (US) volume navigation (V Nav) with real time needle tracking and image fusion with contrast enhanced (ce) CT, MRI or US.
First an in vitro study on a liver phantom with CT data image fusion was performed, involving the puncture of a 10 mm lesion in a depth of 5 cm performed by 15 examiners with US guided freehand technique vs. V Nav for the purpose of time optimization. Then 23 patients underwent ultrasound-navigated biopsies or interventions using V Nav image fusion of live ultrasound with ceCT, ceMRI or CEUS, which were acquired before the intervention. A CEUS data set was acquired in all patients. Image fusion was established for CEUS and CT or CEUS and MRI using anatomical landmarks in the area of the targeted lesion. The definition of a virtual biopsy line with navigational axes targeting the lesion was achieved by the usage of sterile trocar with a magnetic sensor embedded in its distal tip employing a dedicated navigation software for real time needle tracking.
The in vitro study showed significantly less time needed for the simulated interventions in all examiners when V Nav was used (p<0.05). In the study involving patients, in all 10 biopsies of suspect lesions of the liver a histological confirmation was achieved. We also used V Nav for a breast biopsy (intraductal carcinoma), for a biopsy of the abdominal wall (metastasis of ovarial carcinoma) and for radiofrequency ablations (4 ablations). In 8 cases of inflammatory abdominal lesions 9 percutaneous drainages were successfully inserted.
Percutaneous biopsies and drainages, even of small lesions involving complex access pathways, can be accomplished with a high success rate by using 3D real time image fusion together with real time needle tracking.
New modalities like Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) allow non-invasive examination of the internal structure of biological tissue in vivo. The potential benefits and limitations of this new technology for the detection and evaluation of bladder cancer were examined in this study.
Materials and methods
Between January 2007 and January 2008, 52 patients who underwent transurethral bladder biopsy or TUR-BT for surveillance or due to initial suspicion of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder were enrolled in this study. In total, 166 lesions were suspicious for malignancy according to standard white light cystoscopy. All suspicious lesions were scanned and interpreted during perioperative cystoscopy using OCT. Cold cup biopsies and/or TUR-B was performed for all these lesions. For this study we used an OCT-device (Niris®, Imalux®, Cleveland, US), that utilizes near-infrared light guided through a flexible fibre-based applicator, which is placed into the bladder via the working channel of the cystoscope. The technology provides high spatial resolution on the order of about 10-20 μm, and a visualization of tissue to a depth of about 2 mm across a lateral span of about 2 mm in width. The device used received market clearance from the FDA and CE approval in Germany. The diagnostic and surgical procedure was videotaped and analyzed afterwards for definitive matching of scanned and biopsied lesion. The primary aim of this study was to determine the level of correlation between OCT interpretation and final histological result.
Of 166 scanned OCT images, 102 lesions (61.4%) matched to the same site where the biopsy/TUR-BT was taken according to videoanalysis. Only these video-verified lesions were used for further analysis. Of all analyzed lesions 88 were benign (inflammation, edema, hyperplasia etc.) and 14 were malignant (CIS, Ta, T1, T2) as shown by final histo pathology.
All 14 malignant lesions were detected correctly by OCT. Furthermore all invasive tumors were staged correctly by OCT regarding tumor growth beyond the lamina propria. There were no false negative lesions detected by OCT. Sensitivity of OCT for detecting the presence of a malignant lesion was 100% and sensitivity for detection of tumor growth beyond the lamina propria was 100% as well. Specificity of OCT for presence of malignancy was 65%, due to the fact that a number of lesions were interpreted as false positive by OCT.
As a minimally invasive technique, OCT proved to have extremely high sensitivity for detection of malignant lesions as well as estimation of whether a tumor has invaded beyond the lamina propria. However, specificity of OCT within the bladder was impaired (65%), possibly due to a learning curve and/or the relatively low spatial resolution and visualization depth of the OCT technology. Further studies and technical development are needed to establish an adequate surrogate for optical biopsy.
Bladder cancer; diagnosis; minimally invasive; optical biopsy; optical coherence tomography
Liver metastases often exhibit a hypervascular halo during the arterial phase of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS). This finding has no correlates on baseline gray-scale imaging, and it has never been characterized. The aim of this study was to identify the features of this halo and determine whether it should be included in the ablation volume during thermal ablation procedures.
Materials and methods
We prospectively enrolled 25 patients referred to our department for thermal ablation of liver metastases. Before treatment all patients underwent CEUS, and the maximum diameter of the metastatic lesion was measured before administration of the ultrasound contrast agent and during the arterial and portal venous phases of the contrast contrast-enhanced study. Maximum diameters in the different vascular phases were compared with the Turkey–Kramer test. Two biopsies were obtained from each lesion with a 21-gauge needle: 1) one from the center of the metastasis to confirm the diagnosis and 2) one from the hypervascular peripheral halo identified in the arterial phase at CEUS.
The mean (±standard deviation) maximum lesion diameter was 2.67 ± 1.2 cm before contrast agent injection, 3.50 ± 1.4 cm during the arterial phase, and 2.71 ± 1.2 cm during the venous phase. The difference between maximum diameters measured before contrast enhancement and in the arterial phase was highly significant (mean: 0.84 ± 0.45 cm, p < 0.0001). Histological examination of halo specimens revealed inflammatory infiltrates with no evidence of tumor infiltration in 24/25 (96%) cases and normal hepatic parenchymal tissue in the 25th specimen.
The hypervascular halo surrounding liver metastases during the arterial phase of CEUS represents a chronic inflammatory infiltrate, not tumor infiltration. However, since chronic inflammation appears to promote neovascularization and the production of tumoral growth factors, it seems wise to include the hypervascular halo in the intended-to-treat volume when planning the ablation procedure.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Hypervascular halo; Liver metastasis; Thermal ablation
To investigate the application of contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in planning and guiding for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for metastatic liver carcinoma (MLC).
One hundred and thirty-five patients with clinically and pathologically diagnosed MLC (from gastrointestinal tumors) were included in the present study, and 104 of them had received CEUS prior to RFA to assess the number, size, shape, infiltration, location and enhancing features of the lesions. Among the 104 patients, 21 (20.1%) were excluded from RFA treatment due to too many lesions or large infiltrative range based on CEUS. The remaining 83 patients with 147 lesions underwent RFA (group A). During the same period, other 31 patients with 102 lesions serving as control group were treated based on findings of conventional ultrasound without contrast (group B). The patients underwent follow-up enhanced CT at the 1st month, and then every 3–6 months after RFA. The tumor was considered as early necrosis if no contrast enhancement was detected in the treated area on the CT scan at the 1st month.
In group A, 72 of 147 MLC lesions (48.9%) showed increased sizes on CEUS. Among them, 48 lesions (66.6%) appeared enlarged in arterial phase, and 24 (33.3%) showed enlarged hypoechoic area in parenchymal phase. CEUS showed total 61 additional lesions in 35 patients (42.1%) (ranged from 8 to 15 mm) compared with conventional ultrasound (US), and 42 (68.8%) of them were visualized in parenchymal phase only. There were total 208 lesions in group A underwent RFA with CEUS planning, and the tumor necrosis rate was 94.2% (196/208). In this group, local recurrence was found in 16 lesions (7.7%) during 3–42 months’ following up, and new metastases were seen in 30 cases (36.1%). For group B, the tumor necrosis rate was 86.3% (88/102), local recurrence in 17 lesions (16.7%), and new metastases in 13 cases (41.9%). Tumor early necrosis and recurrence rates were significantly different between the two groups (P=0.018, P=0.016, respectively).
CEUS played an important role in RFA for liver metastases by candidate selecting and therapy planning, which helped to improve the outcome of the treatment.
Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS); Liver metastasis; Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
To assess individual urologist variability using narrow-band imaging (NBI) cystoscopy to evaluate bladder tumours.
Patients and Methods
In all, 50 patients underwent white-light and NBI cystoscopy to evaluate for recurrent bladder tumours. Endoscopic images in each patient were independently viewed by four urologists assessing presence or absence of tumour. Their findings were correlated with biopsy results.
In all, 26 patients had recurrent tumour and 24 had benign histology. There were no significant differences among urologists detecting recurrent tumour or in determining final pathology.
There does not appear to be a learning curve' for adapting to NBI-surveillance cystoscopy in patients with bladder cancer.
cystoscopy; narrow-band imaging; surgeon variability
We sought to assess vascularity in wrist tenosynovitis by using power Doppler ultrasound (PDUS) and to compare detection of intra- and peritendinous vascularity with that of contrast-enhanced grey-scale ultrasound (CEUS).
Twenty-six tendons of 24 patients (nine men, 15 women; mean age ± SD, 54.4 ± 11.8 years) with a clinical diagnosis of tenosynovitis were examined with B-mode ultrasonography, PDUS, and CEUS by using a second-generation contrast agent, SonoVue (Bracco Diagnostics, Milan, Italy) and a low-mechanical-index ultrasound technique. Thickness of synovitis, extent of vascularized pannus, intensity of peritendinous vascularisation, and detection of intratendinous vessels was incorporated in a 3-score grading system (grade 0 to 2). Interobserver variability was calculated.
With CEUS, a significantly greater extent of vascularity could be detected than by using PDUS (P < 0.001). In terms of peri- and intratendinous vessels, CEUS was significantly more sensitive in the detection of vascularization compared with PDUS (P < 0.001). No significant correlation between synovial thickening and extent of vascularity could be found (P = 0.089 to 0.097). Interobserver reliability was calculated to be excellent when evaluating the grading score (κ = 0.811 to 1.00).
CEUS is a promising tool to detect tendon vascularity with higher sensitivity than PDUS by improved detection of intra- and peritendinous vascularity.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a major breakthrough for ultrasound imaging in recent years. By using a microbubble contrast agent and contrast-specific imaging software, CEUS is able to depict the micro- and macro-circulation of the targeted organ, which in turn leads to improved performance in diagnosis. Due to the special dual blood supply system in the liver, CEUS is particularly suitable for liver imaging. It is evident that CEUS facilitates improvement for characterization of focal liver lesions (FLLs), detection of liver malignancy, guidance for interventional procedures, and evaluation of treatment response after local therapies. CEUS has been demonstrated to be equal to contrast-enhanced computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging for the characterization of FLLs. In addition, the applicability of CEUS has expanded to non-liver structures such as gallbladder, bile duct, pancreas, kidney, spleen, breast, thyroid, and prostate. The usefulness of CEUS in these applications is confirmed by extensive literature production. Novel applications include detecting bleeding sites and hematomas in patients with abdominal trauma, guiding percutaneous injection therapy and therefore achieving the goal of using interventional ultrasonography in managing splenic trauma, assessing the activity of Crohn’s disease, and detecting suspected endoleaks after endovascular abdominal aneurysm repair. Contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasound (US) and intracavitary use of CEUS have been developed and clinically studied. The potential use of CEUS involves sentinel lymph node detection, drug or gene delivery, and molecular imaging. In conclusion, the advent of CEUS has greatly enhanced the usefulness of US and even changed the status of US in clinical practice. The application of CEUS in the clinic is continuously evolving and it is expected that its use will be expanded further in the future.
Bile duct; Breast; Gallbladder; Pancreas; Kidney; Liver; Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Prostate; Spleen; Thyroid
AIM: To assess the usefulness of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) during follow-up after percutaneous ablation therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: A total of 141 patients with HCCs who received percutaneous ablation therapy were assessed by paired follow-up CEUS and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT). The follow-up scheme was designed prospectively and the intervals between CEUS and CECT examinations were less than 14 d. Both images of follow-up CEUS and CECT were reviewed by radiologists. The ablated lesions were evaluated and classified as local tumor progression (LTP) and LTP-free. LTP was defined as regrowth of tumor inside or adjacent to the successfully treated nodule. The detected new intrahepatic recurrences were also evaluated and defined as presence of intrahepatic new foci. On CEUS and CECT, LTP and new intrahepatic recurrence both were displayed as typical enhancement pattern of HCC (i.e., hyper-enhancing during the arterial phase and washout in the late phase). With CECT as the reference standard, the ability of CEUS in detecting LTP or new intrahepatic recurrence during follow-up was evaluated.
RESULTS: During a follow-up period of 1-31 mo (median, 4 mo), 169 paired CEUS and CECT examinations were carried out for the 141 patients. For a total of 221 ablated lesions, 266 comparisons between CEUS and CECT findings were performed. Thirty-three LTPs were detected on CEUS whereas 40 LTPs were detected on CECT, there was significant difference (P < 0.001). In comparison with CECT, the numbers of false positive and false negative LTPs detected on CEUS were 6 and 13, respectively; the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and overall accuracy of CEUS in detecting LTPs were 67.5%, 97.4%, 81.8%, 94.4% and 92.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, 131 new intrahepatic recurrent foci were detected on CEUS whereas 183 were detected on CECT, there was also significant difference (P < 0.05). In comparison with CECT, the numbers of false positive and false negative intrahepatic recurrences detected on CEUS were 13 and 65, respectively; the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and overall accuracy of CEUS in detecting new intrahepatic recurrent foci were 77.7%, 92.0%, 92.4%, 76.7% and 84.0%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The sensitivity of CEUS in detecting LTP and new intrahepatic recurrence after percutaneous ablation therapy is relatively low in comparison with CECT.
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Contrast-enhanced computed tomography; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiofrequency ablation; Microwave ablation
The aim of the present study was to evaluate acute blunt pancreatic injury using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in comparison with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT). Superficial and deep lesions were established by blunt pancreatic injury in 40 Chinese Guangxi Bama miniature pigs. Conventional ultrasound (US), CEUS and CECT were performed to detect traumatic lesions in the pancreas. A total of 40 lesions were established, including 20 deep lesions and 20 superficial lesions. US identified 21 of the 40 lesions, including 7 of the 20 superficial and 14 of the 20 deep lesions. CEUS identified 34 of the 40 lesions, including 14 of the 20 superficial and 20 of the 20 deep lesions. CECT identified 33 of the 40 lesions, including 13 of the 20 superficial and 20 of the 20 deep lesions. The detection rate of acute blunt pancreatic injury using CEUS was significantly higher compared with that using US (85 vs. 52.5%, P<0.05), however there was no significant difference in the detection rate of pancreatic lesions between CEUS and CECT (85 vs. 82.5%, P>0.05). CEUS improves the diagnostic levels of conventional US and is comparable with CECT scans in the diagnosis of blunt pancreatic injury.
pancreas; blunt injury; contrast-enhanced ultrasonography; contrast-enhanced computed tomography
Mediastinal syndrome is suspected on the basis of clinical symptoms and is generally confirmed by chest radiography or computed tomography (CT). However, also grey scale ultrasound (US) and contrast enhanced US (CEUS) are useful in this hematologic emergency as they provide the possibility to perform US-guided biopsy and histological diagnosis.
Materials and methods
15 Patients affected by mediastinal syndrome were prospectively studied using B-mode US and CEUS; 13 of these patients, who had no other lesions, were proposed for US-guided biopsy of the mediastinal mass, but only in 12 patients biopsy was technically possible.
In this study, B-mode US reached an excellent sensitivity (100%) in evidencing the lesions but a low specificity which did not exceed 30–40%. CEUS reached an elevated specificity identifying neoplastic pathologies if both the early and the late phases are considered (90–86.6%). US-guided biopsy was possible in 92.3% of lesions showing a diagnostic adequacy of 91.66%.
B-mode US associated with CEUS and US-guided biopsy reached an elevated accuracy in the diagnosis of mediastinal masses. If these results are confirmed by further studies, this diagnostic procedure could be included in the routine management of mediastinal syndrome.
Mediastinal syndrome; Contrast enhanced US; US-guided biopsy