Prospective comparison of preoperative imaging and intraoperative ultrasonography in the detection of liver tumors

Surgery. 1989 Nov;106(5):849-55.


A prospective evaluation of the accuracy of preoperative computed tomography (CT), ultrasonography (US), and angiography was performed in 54 patients undergoing resection of hepatic neoplasms. The results were compared with surgical findings and intraoperative ultrasonography (IOUS). A total of 167 lesions was seen by means of IOUS, of which preoperative US enabled detection of 127 (76%). In 48 patients CT allowed detection of 91 of 150 lesions (61%), and in 35 patients angiography showed 56 of 107 lesions (52%). When the detection rate is analyzed according to hepatic segment, the greater overall accuracy of preoperative US may be attributed to a markedly better detection rate in lateral segment of the left lobe of the liver. Lesion size also represented a factor, with preoperative US allowing detection of a greater number of small (less than 2 cm) lesions compared with CT. In patients studied with both CT and US, the combined lesion-detection rate increased to 81% in the right lobe and 76% in the left lobe. Because of this we recommend that preoperative assessment include both CT and US evaluation of the liver. IOUS showed 25% to 35% additional lesions compared with preoperative US and CT. More importantly, 40% of the lesions demonstrated by IOUS were neither visible nor palpable at surgery. We recommend that IOUS be considered in all patients in whom resection of hepatic neoplasm is planned.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Angiography*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Palpation
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Ultrasonography*