Improved detection of hepatic metastases with pulse-inversion US during the liver-specific phase of SHU 508A: Multicenter study

Thomas Albrecht, Martin J K Blomley, Peter N. Burns, Stephanie Wilson, Christopher J. Harvey, Edward Leen, Michel Claudon, Fabrizio Calliada, Jean Michel Correas, Michel LaFortune, Rodolfo Campani, Christian W. Hoffmann, David O. Cosgrove, Frederic LeFevre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To compare conventional B-mode ultrasonography (US) alone with the combination of conventional B-mode US and contrast material-enhanced (SHU 508A) late-phase pulse-inversion US for the detection of hepatic metastases by using dual-phase spiral computed tomography (CT) as the standard of reference. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred twenty-three patients underwent conventional US, US in the liver-specific phase of SHU 508A, and single-section spiral CT. US and CT images were assessed by blinded readers. Differences in sensitivity, specificity, and the number and smallest size of metastases at conventional and contrast-enhanced US were compared by using CT as the standard of reference. Lesion conspicuity was assessed objectively (quantitatively) and subjectively by one reader before and after contrast material administration. RESULTS: In 45 of 80 (56%) patients with metastases, more metastases were seen at contrast-enhanced US than at conventional US. In three of these patients, conventional US images appeared normal. The addition of contrast-enhanced US improved sensitivity for the detection of individual metastases from 71% to 87% (P <.001). On a patient basis, sensitivity improved from 94% to 98% (P = .44), and specificity improved from 60% to 88% (P <.01). Contrast enhancement improved the subjective conspicuity of metastases in 66 of 75 (88%) patients and the objective contrast by a mean of 10.8 dB (P <.001). Contrast-enhanced US showed more metastases than did CT in seven patients, and CT showed more than did contrast-enhanced US in one of 22 patients in whom an independent reference (magnetic resonance imaging, intraoperative US, or pathologic findings) was available. CONCLUSION: Contrast-enhanced US improved sensitivity and specificity in the detection of hepatic metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003


  • Liver neoplasms, CT
  • Liver neoplasms, metastases
  • Liver neoplasms, US
  • Ultrasound (US), contrast media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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