Published online Jan 27, 2010. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v2.i1.8
Revised: September 17, 2009
Accepted: September 24, 2009
Published online: January 27, 2010
Contrast enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) has improved both the detection and characterization of focal liver lesions. It is now possible to evaluate in real time the perfusion of focal liver lesions in the arterial, portal and late contrast phases, and thus to characterize focal liver lesions with high diagnostic accuracy. As a result, CEUS has taken a central diagnostic role in the evaluation of focal liver lesions that are indeterminate upon computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging. The combined use of second generation contrast agents and low mechanical index techniques is essential for the detection of liver metastases, and it now allows the examination of the entire liver in both the portal and late phases. Several studies have shown that using CEUS instead of conventional ultrasonography without contrast agents significantly improves sensitivity in detection of liver metastases. Furthermore, the detection rate with CEUS seems to be similar to that of CT. This review describes the clinical role of CEUS in detecting liver metastases, including details about examination techniques, features of metastases observed with CEUS, and clinical results and guidelines.