The early diagnosis and monitoring of hepatic metastases are now achieved by different imaging modalities, some using ionizing radiations (computed tomography and angiography), some based on other energy sources (sonography and magnetic resonance), but all coming within the radiological area, which offers concrete possibilities of integration and the necessary organization. These modalities are sometimes used only for percutaneous histological samplings with minimal invasiveness. The progress in hepatic resective surgery and the possibility of orthotopic liver transplantation for some neoplastic histotypes, together with the alternatives provided by interventional radiology, have brought a continuous updating of the specialists' interest in the morphological and functional definition of hepatic metastatic disease, with the specific aim of choosing the best therapeutic strategy. Hepatic metastases have the greatest impact on the survival of patients with gastrointestinal neoplasms, especially colonic adenocarcinoma. Intraoperative sonography and CT arterial portography currently provide greatest diagnostic sensitivity in terms of spatial resolution but cannot be considered as methods of choice, the former for obvious reasons and the latter because of its invasiveness and complexity. The alternatives are to be sought in spiral CT and the new MR sequences which can undoubtedly provide a decisive improvement in the diagnostic standards currently available. Profoundly changed, but no less important, is the role of angiography which still provides the anatomical support for hepatic surgery and the means for alternative treatments, such as chemoembolization and continuous infusional chemotherapy.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diagnostic imaging of liver metastases|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Annali Italiani di Chirurgia|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1996|
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