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J Vet Med Sci. 2006 May;68(5):433-8.

Contrast harmonic imaging of canine hepatic tumors.

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  • 1Laboratory of Veterinary Surgery, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Japan.


Six adult healthy Beagles were used to investigate the hepatic perfusion dynamics of Levovist, a contrast agent used in contrast harmonic imaging (CHI). In addition, 8 dogs with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 2 dogs with metastatic hepatic hemangiosarcoma (HSA) were used to characterize both the CHI findings with Levovist. In the Beagles, the start of intravenously injected Levovist into the aorta between the cranial mesenteric and renal arteries and the portal vein at the hepatic hilum were 5.47 +/- 1.52 sec and 16.03 +/- 3.39 sec, respectively. As a characteristic CHI finding in the 8 dogs with HCC, the early arterial phase showed a fine network of blood flow enhanced at the surrounding region and within the tumor in all the 8 dogs (100%), and the post vascular phase demonstrated a defect in the whole tumor and an enhancement of the surrounding hepatic tissues in 7 dogs (87.5%). In the 2 dogs with HSA, characteristic finding in which the early arterial and late vascular phases showed a rim contrast enhancement pattern, and the post vascular phase revealed that the whole tumor lacked contrast enhancement and the surrounding hepatic tissues was clearly enhanced. In dogs, the start of the early arterial and late vascular phases, and the characterizations of the CHI findings in HCC and HSA were suggested to be similar to those in humans. Therefore, CHI is thought to be useful for the diagnosis of HCC and metastatic hepatic HSA in dogs as well as in humans.

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