Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography to diagnose gallbladder perforation

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) as a modality for diagnosing perforation of the gallbladder (GB) and pericholecystic hepatic abscess.


This retrospective study comprised 6 patients with acute cholecystitis and GB perforation plus pericholecystic hepatic abscess who underwent conventional US and CEUS imaging. The following sonographic features were examined: GB contour, defect in the GB wall, and pericholecystic hepatic mass. The findings of conventional US and CEUS were compared.


Conventional US revealed a defect in the GB wall in 2 patients and partially obscured GB wall in 4 patients. Pericholecystic masses were visualized as isohypoechoic masses in 3 and mixed cystic-solid masses in 3 patients. Contrast-enhanced US revealed hyperenhancement of the GB wall during the early arterial phase, and a defect was seen in every patient. The pericholecystic masses showed heterogeneous enhancement with a honeycomb-like appearance during the arterial phase–interpreted abscesses.


Contrast-enhanced US clearly visualized defects in the GB wall and pericholecystic abscesses in patients with GB perforation. The results indicate that CEUS is a useful modality for the diagnosis of GB perforation.

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