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August, 2019 — Abdominal Radiology



To show the contribution of CEUS to characterization of indeterminate MRI observations in high-risk patients for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


From July to December 2015, 42 consecutive patients referred to CEUS with indeterminate MRI scans comprise our study cohort. There are 50 indeterminate nodule-like observations and 10 arterial phase hyperenhancing foci, suggest-ing pseudolesions/arterio-portal shunts. MRI and CEUS lesions are classified according to their enhancement features in all phases and Liver Imaging and Reporting Data System (LI-RADS) in a blind read format. Clinical pathologic correlation and 24 months follow-up are performed.


A majority, 37/50 (74%), of indeterminate nodule-like observations have arterial phase enhancement without washout on MRI. CEUS further characterizes enhancement and shows washout in 14/37 (38%). In total, CEUS diagnoses 16 malignant lesions in 14 patients including 14 HCC and 2 ICC. 12/16 (75%) malignant lesions are confirmed by biopsy or follow-up. Ultrasound identification of a nodule differentiates real nodules from pseudolesions. Of the ten suspected arterial-portal shunts on MRI, two show a real nodule on ultrasound, confirmed as an HCC and a regenerative nodule. 15/42 (36%) patients have LI-RADS escalated from LR-3 or 4 on MRI to LR-4 or 5 on CEUS. Overall, the sensitivity of CEUS is (13/16) 81.3% and specificity is (37/37) 100% for malignant diagnosis.


Grayscale ultrasound detects true nodules. Dynamic CEUS detects and characterizes washout, correctly predicting HCC. CEUS is complimentary to MRI and can serve as a problem-solving tool when MRI is indeterminate.

Authors: Jinghui Hu 1 · Deepak Bhayana 1 · Kelly W. Burak 1 · Stephanie R. Wilson 1, 2

1.University of Calgary, Canada; 2.Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Canada

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© The Author(s) 2019

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