Potential Value of Contrast-Enhanced Intraoperative Ultrasonography During Partial Hepatectomy for Metastases: An Essential Investigation Before Resection?

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Objective:The aim of the study was to assess the clinical value of contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasound (CE-IOUS) as a novel tool in the hepatic staging of patients undergoing liver resection.Methods:Sixty patients scheduled to undergo liver resection for metastatic disease were studied. Preoperative staging with contrast-enhanced CT and/or MR scans was performed within 2 to 6 weeks of operation. Following exploration, intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) was performed using an HDI-5000 scanner (Philips) and a finger-probe with pulse inversion harmonic (PIH) capability. CE-IOUS in the PIH mode was performed in a standardized protocol (low MI: 0.02–0.04) after intravenous injection of 3–4 mL of SonoVue (Bracco spa, Milan); all detected lesions on precontrast and postcontrast scans were counted and mapped. Any alteration in surgical management was documented following CE-IOUS compared with IOUS.Results:Three patients were excluded due to disseminated disease on exploration. CE-IOUS was significantly more sensitive than CT/MR and IOUS in detecting liver metastases (96.1% versus 76.7% and 81.5%, respectively) (P < 0.05); it altered surgical management in 29.8% (17 of 57) of cases, due to 1) additional metastases in 19.3% (11 of 57), 2) less metastases in 3.5% (2 of 57), 3) benign lesions wrongly diagnosed as metastasis on IOUS/CT in 5.3% (3 of 57), and 4) vascular proximity in 1.8% (1 of 57). Management was unchanged in 70.2% (40 of 57) despite additional lesions detected in 3.5% (2 of 57) and benign lesion wrongly diagnosed on IOUS and CT as metastasis in 1.8% (1 of 57). CE-IOUS altered combined IOUS/CT/MR staging in 35.1%.Conclusion:These preliminary results suggest CE-IOUS is an essential tool prior to liver resection for metastases.

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