Guidelines for the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in hepatocellular carcinoma

Riccardo Lencioni, Clotilde Della Pina, Dania Cioni, Laura Crocetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Surveillance of patients at risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) relies on ultrasound (US) examinations performed at 6-month intervals. Early detection of HCC on a cirrhotic background is a challenging issue, since the US features of the different entities in the multi-step process of hepatocarcinogenesis - such as low-grade and high-grade dysplastic nodule - do overlap. Contrast-enhanced US allows reliable detection of arterial neo-angiogenesis associated with the malignant change. Several reports have shown that the ability of contrast-enhanced US to diagnose HCC currently approaches that of optimised multidetector computed tomography (CT) or dynamic magnetic resonance (MR) imaging protocols. The use of contrast-enhanced US to characterise nodular lesions in cirrhosis has recently been recommended by the clinical practice guidelines issued by the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Contrast-enhanced US has also been successfully used to assess response of HCC to image-guided percutaneous ablation procedures. In this article, we discuss the advantages and limitations of contrast-enhanced US with respect to the other imaging modalities in the setting of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer, Supplement
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Contrast agent
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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