Power Doppler sonography to evaluate response to percutaneous ethanol injection in hepatocellular carcinoma

S. Spiezia, P. Vallone, F. Fiore, P. Ricchi, B. Daniele, G. Picone, G. Cerbone, R. De Vivo, F. Pétrone, F. Castiglione, S. Pignata

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Background and aims. The aim of the present study was to compare power Doppler imaging with traditional color Doppler imaging and with contrast enhanced computer tomography in the evaluation of intratumoral vascularity of hepatocellular carcinomas at diagnosis and in response to percutaneous ethanol injection. Patients and methods. Sixteen patients with hepatocellular carcinoma underwent colour Doppler, power Doppler and computed tomography at diagnosis. Seventeen patients were studied by the three techniques one month after percutaneous ethanol injection treatment. Results. At baseline evaluation, power Doppler and color Doppler were always in agreement and with the exception of one case, were also in agreement with the computerized tomography scan. On the contrary, power Doppler and computerized tomography are more sensitive than color Doppler in the evaluation of residual vascularized tumoral tissue after percutaneous ethanol injection. In 3 patients, residual vascularity was demonstrated only by computerized tomography while color and power Doppler were negative. In another 3 cases, a positive power Doppler signal, with a typical arterial Doppler spectrum, was observed while color Doppler and computerized tomogmphy were negative. In these patients, cancer relapse was clinically evident after a few months and treatment was repeated to obtain complete necrosis. Conclusions. We conclude that only the integration of the results of all these techniques can reliably evaluate tumoral vascularity after percutaneous ethanol injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalItalian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Doppler sonography
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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