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J Artif Organs. 2013 Dec;16(4):475-82. doi: 10.1007/s10047-013-0717-1. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound detects perfusion defects in an ex vivo porcine liver model: a useful tool for the study of hepatic reperfusion.

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  • 1Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Leicester General Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester, Gwendolen Road, Leicester, LE5 4PW, UK,


Following transplantation, areas of hypoperfusion can be associated with metabolic changes and poor organ recovery. Our study evaluated contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) agents for the detection of such areas. Livers were collected from ten pigs, connected to extracorporeal circuits and perfused using autologous blood. After 1 and 4 h livers were scanned with an ultrasound machine following the administration of CEUS agents. Biopsies from perfused and non-perfused areas were collected. The entire parenchyma enhanced strongly on non-contrast ultrasound at 1 h with no perfusion defects. Four hours later multiple perfusion defects manifested not evident with non-contrast ultrasound. Histology confirmed non-perfused areas corresponded to ischemic zones. In our model the addition of CEUS revealed perfusion defects after 4 h. This might facilitate detection and characterization of perfusion defects in transplanted livers.

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