Biopsy of Liver Target Lesions under Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Guidance - A Multi-Center Study

Giampiero Francica, Maria Franca Meloni, Ilario De Sio, Fulvia Terracciano, Eugenio Caturelli, Laura Riccardi, Paola Roselli, Maddalena Diana Iadevaia, Mariano Scaglione, Giovanni Lenna, Jason Chiang, Maurizio Pompili

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose To retrospectively characterize the prevalence and impact of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) as a guidance technique for the biopsy of liver target lesions (LTLs) at six interventional ultrasound centers.Materials and Methods The six participating centers retrospectively selected all patients in whom biopsy needles were positioned in LTLs during CEUS. The prevalence of CEUS-guided biopsies at each center between 2005 and 2016, contrast agent consumption, procedure indications, diagnostic yield and complications were assessed. Informed consent was obtained for all patients.Results CEUS-guided biopsy of LTLs was carried out in 103 patients (68 M/35 F, median age: 69 yrs) with 103 liver target lesions (median size: 20mm) using cutting needles (18 - 20 g) in 94 cases (91.2 %). CEUS-guided biopsy represented 2.6 % (range: 0.8 - 7.7 %) of 3818 biopsies on LTLs carried out at the participating centers. Indications to CEUS-guided biopsy were: a target lesion not visible on non-enhanced US (27.2 %), improvement of conspicuity of the target (33 %), choice of nonnecrotic area inside the target (39.8 %). 26 patients (25.2 %) had a previously non-diagnostic cyto-histological exam. The diagnostic accuracy of the technique was 99 %. No major complications followed infusion of contrast agent or biopsy performance.Conclusion The indications for CEUS-guided biopsy for LTLs are limited, but CEUS can be useful in challenging clinical scenarios, e.g. poorly visualized or invisible lesions or sampling of non-necrotic areas in the target lesions. There is also a potential advantage in using CEUS to guide repeat biopsies after unsuccessful sampling performed using the standard ultrasound technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-453
Number of pages6
JournalUltraschall in der Medizin
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • abdomen
  • biopsy
  • contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • liver


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