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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 252-256

EUS liver assessment using contrast agents and elastography

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital of Imola, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Pietro Fusaroli
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Montericco 4; 40026 Imola, Bologna
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/eus.eus_29_18

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Transabdominal-US is the first-line imaging modality used to assess the whole liver parenchyma and vascularization; EUS assessment of the liver is incomplete and is not sufficient to rule out the presence of focal liver lesions. On the other hand, due the high diagnostic yield in detecting very small (< 1 cm) lesions, EUS is considered complementary to radiological imaging techniques for the investigation of liver parenchyma. Scarce data are available regarding the investigation of liver parenchyma using both EUS-elastography (EUS-E) and CH-EUS. The aim of this review is to evaluate the clinical role of image enhancement techniques, namely EUS-E and contrast harmonic-EUS (CH-EUS), for the evaluation liver diseases. Despite a potential interest for the application of EUS-E in the assessment of liver diseases, available evidence relegates this technique only to research areas, such as the differential diagnosis between benign and malignant focal liver lesions and the quantification of liver fibrosis in diffuse parenchymal diseases. With the future introduction of EUS shear-wave elastography, interesting data can be obtained for the assessment of liver fibrosis during real-time EUS evaluation. The usefulness of CH-EUS for the evaluation of liver disease is limited by the intrinsic EUS ability to explore only the left lobe and a small part of the right lobe. CH-EUS could be used to increase the diagnostic ability of EUS for the detection and characterization of small lesions and for guiding tissue sampling. Targeting EUS-guided treatments with either EUS-E or CH-EUS might represent potential future applications.

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