Transient Segmental Enhancement of Pyogenic Liver Abscess: A Comparison Between Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound and Computed Tomography.

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This study aimed to investigate the correlation between the transient segmental enhancement (TSE) of liver abscesses on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scans.


In total, 42 abscesses in 38 patients were evaluated with real-time CEUS and contrast-enhanced CT imaging. The CT imaging and CEUS examinations were performed within one to 2 days of each other in all cases. The initial reports of the observations of TSE on CEUS scans were correlated later with the findings of TSE on contrast-enhanced CT images. Contrast-enhanced CT was used as the reference standard to evaluate the presence of TSE. Relationships between the 2 groups were analyzed using the χ test. P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.


In 16 patients, 16 typical TSE signs were shown by CEUS. Meanwhile, enhanced CT imaging showed 18 typical signs of TSE in 17 patients. We identified 38 patients with hepatic abscesses proven by needle aspiration (10 patients) or image-guided biopsy (28 patients). Ten patients had hepatobiliary cholelithiasis, 5 had diabetes mellitus type 2, and 2 had gastric cancer, whereas no evidence of underlying hepatobiliary or gastrointestinal diseases was found in the other 21 patients. Considering that enhanced CT is the reference standard for the diagnosis of hepatic abscesses, the sensitivity of CEUS in showing TSE was 89%, and the specificity was 100%. The χ test indicated that CEUS and enhanced CT were significantly correlated for detection of hepatic perfusion disorders (P < 0.05).


The appearance of TSE in liver abscess was reliably detected by CEUS, which correlated well with the enhanced CT images (P < 0.05).

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