[Real-time contrast-enhanced ultrasound in the evaluation of focal liver lesions: diagnostic efficacy and economical issues from a French multicentric study]

J Radiol. 2009 Jan;90(1 Pt 2):109-22. doi: 10.1016/s0221-0363(09)70089-7.
[Article in French]


The recent introduction of high-end ultrasound equipment combined with recent contrast agents provides marked improvements in the characterization of focal liver lesions as previously reported by monocentric studies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography (CEUS) using SonoVue as well as its medico-economic value for characterization of focal liver lesions. These nodules were not characterized on previous CT or conventional sonography. This prospective multicentric study conducted in 15 French centres found diagnostic performances similar to those reported for CT and MRI, with a concordance rate of 84.5%, sensitivity greater than 80% and specificity greater than 90% for all types of lesions. Higher acceptance was found for CEUS compared to other imaging modalities. Economical assessment based on examination reimbursment and contrast agent cost showed a lower cost for contrast ultrasound versus CT and MRI. This French multicentric study confirmed the high diagnostic value of CEUS for focal liver lesion characterization and demonstrated a lower economical impact compared to other imaging modalities such as CT and MRI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Contrast Media*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia / diagnosis
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia / diagnostic imaging*
  • France
  • Hemangioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / economics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Patient Selection
  • Phospholipids*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / economics
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Ultrasonography / economics
  • Ultrasonography / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Phospholipids
  • contrast agent BR1
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride