Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) ultrasound imaging of solid focal liver lesions

A. Gallotti, M. D'Onofrio, L. Romanini, V. Cantisani, R. Pozzi Mucelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the application of ARFI ultrasound imaging and its potential value for characterizing focal solid liver lesions. Materials and methods: In this multicentric prospective study, over a total non-consecutive period of four months, all patients underwent ARFI US examination. Two independent operators performed 5 measurements per each lesion and 2 measurements in the surrounding liver. According to the definitive diagnosis, a mean velocity value and standard deviations were obtained in each type of focal solid lesion, compared by using t-test, and the inter-operator evaluation was performed by using the Student's t-test. A comparison between the total mean values of each type of lesion and the mean value of the parenchyma was performed. Results: 40 lesions were evaluated and a total of 400 measurements were obtained. The lesions were: 6/40(15%) hepatocellular carcinomas, 7/40(17.5%) hemangiomas, 5/40(12.5%) adenomas, 9/40(22.5%) metastases and 13/40(32.5%) focal nodular hyperplasias. The total mean values obtained were: 2.17 m/s in HCCs, 2.30 m/s in hemangiomas, 1.25 m/s in adenomas, 2.87 m/s in metastases and 2.75 m/s in FNHs. The inter-operator evaluation resulted non-statistically different (p > 0.05). A significant difference (p <0.05) was always found by comparing adenomas to the other lesions. 160 measurements were obtained in the surrounding parenchyma, with a no significant difference between values measured in adenomas and in the surrounding liver. Conclusions: ARFI technology with Virtual Touch tissue quantification could non-invasively provide significant complementary information regarding the tissue stiffness, useful for the differential diagnosis of focal solid liver lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • ARFI imaging
  • Focal solid liver lesion
  • Ultrasound
  • Virtual Touch tissue quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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