Liver metastases: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound compared with computed tomography and magnetic resonance

Vito Cantisani, Hektor Grazhdani, Cristina Fioravanti, Maria Rosignuolo, Fabrizio Calliada, Daniela Messineo, Maria Giulia Bernieri, Adriano Redler, Carlo Catalano, Ferdinando D'Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of ultrasound contrast agents with excellent tolerance and safety profiles has notably improved liver evaluation with ultrasound (US) for several applications, especially for the detection of metastases. In particular, contrast enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) allows the display of the parenchymal microvasculature, enabling the study and visualization of the enhancement patterns of liver lesions in real time and in a continuous manner in all vascular phases, which is similar to contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical studies have reported that the use of a contrast agent enables the visualization of more metastases with significantly improved sensitivity and specificity compared to baseline-US. Furthermore, studies have shown that CEUS yields sensitivities comparable to CT. In this review, we describe the state of the art of CEUS for detecting colorectal liver metastases, the imaging features, the literature reports of metastases in CEUS as well as its technique, its clinical role and its potential applications. Additionally, the updated international consensus panel guidelines are reported in this review with the inherent limitations of this technique and best practice experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9998-10007
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2014


  • <sup>18</sup>F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal liver metastases
  • Computed tomography
  • Contrast enhanced ultrasound
  • Intraoperative ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound contrast agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Medicine(all)


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