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July 30, 2019 — European Journal of Ultrasound



Ultrasound is an essential imaging tool for evaluating physiological and pathological fetal or maternal conditions during pregnancy. Published data is limited with respect to the application of CEUS during pregnancy. CEUS has already been safely applied for assessing uteroplacental blood flow, cesarean scar pregnancy and invasive placenta percreta. CT and MRI scans during pregnancy must be thoroughly evaluated due to harmful ionizing radiation and cerebral gadolinium deposition, respectively.


The aim of the present retrospective single-center study is to assess the diagnostic performance and safety of CEUS during pregnancy to evaluate hepatic lesions of unknown entity.


6 pregnant patients who underwent CEUS between 2005 and 2014 (mean age: 32 years; mean weeks of pregnancy: 28 weeks) were included in this study. The applied contrast agent was a second-generation blood-pool agent (SonoVue®, Bracco, Milan, Italy). CEUS examinations were performed and interpreted by a single radiologist with experience since 2000 (EFSUMB Level 3).


CEUS was safely performed on all included pregnant women without the occurrence of adverse fetal or maternal events. In the context of the present study, CEUS helped to safely differentiate hepatic metastases, focal nodular hyperplasia, atypical hemangioma, hepatic arteriovenous malformation and cystic echinococcosis. In two patients CEUS determined immediate therapy.


Although not clinically approved in obstetrics so far, CEUS is a safe imaging modality which, in addition to B-mode and color Doppler ultrasonography, may be applied during pregnancy for further medical indications and to provide helpful information.

Authors: Vincent Schwarze, Constantin Marschner, Giovanna Negrão de Figueiredo, Johannes Rübenthaler  *, Dirk-André Clevert  *

Ultraschall Med. 2019 Jul 30. doi: 10.1055/a-0973-8517. [Epub ahead of print]

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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