Levovist-enhanced Doppler sonography versus spiral computed tomography to evaluate response to percutaneous ethanol injection in hepatocellular carcinoma

Francesco Fiore, Paolo Vallone, Paolo Ricchi, Rosa Tambaro, Bruno Daniele, Fabio Sandomenico, Rocco De Vivo, Corrado Civiletti, Francesco Izzo, Sandro Pignata, Mario Ziviello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the current study was to compare Levovist-enhanced power Doppler (PD) imaging with contrast-enhanced spiral computed tomography (CT) in the evaluation of intratumoral vascularity of hepatocellular carcinomas at diagnosis and after percutaneous ethanol injection (PET). Nineteen patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent PD with and without Levovist and spiral CT at diagnosis and 1 month after PET treatment. Compared to spiral CT at baseline evaluation, the PD showed intratumoral vascularity in 36.8% of the cases; this percentage reached 78.9% after Levovist enhancement. One month after PET, only 5 out of 19 treated HCCs appeared as hypodense areas at CT and showed no contrast enhancement. Only 3 of the 14 patients with a positive spiral CT scan were positive at the PD performed without the Levovist administration (sensitivity, 21.4%). The use of contrast-enhanced ultra-sonography led to detection of residual signal in six other HCCs treated by ethanol injection (sensitivity, 64.2%). We confirm that spiral CT is the most sensitive and accurate technique in evaluating the effect of ethanol injection in HCC. It correctly identifies most cases of treatment failure as enhanced areas within the lesion. The lower rate of detection of tumoral vascularity by Doppler sonography was significantly increased by Levovist. The evidence of residual vascularity within HCC at Levovist Doppler sonography allows the targeting of additional ethanol injections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-168
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Doppler sonography
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Levovist
  • Spiral computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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