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Surgery. 1986 May;99(5):523-30.

Intraoperative ultrasonography in surgery for liver tumors.


Intraoperative ultrasonography was used in 37 patients during surgery for suspected liver tumors. The size, number, and site of the lesions were determined together with the relationship of the tumor to the intrahepatic vessel, as well as possible small daughter lesions within the liver. Final diagnosis in these patients was hepatocellular carcinoma in 19 cases, metastases from colorectal cancers in 15 cases, and benign lesions in three cases. Previously undetected small tumors were revealed in one patient with sigmoid cancer and in five patients with liver cell carcinoma who had cirrhosis. Vascular tumoral infiltrations were easily displayed and the surgical approach modified accordingly: a more extended resection was performed in two cases of huge central hepatic metastases. Intraoperative ultrasonography revealed seven cases of small (2 to 3 cm) hepatocellular carcinomas in cirrhotic livers that were not visible or palpable, thus allowing a subsegmentary resection. Finally, in three cases of atypical tumors, an intraoperative echo-guided biopsy specimen was required to establish the benign nature of lesions and resection was avoided. Intraoperative ultrasonography facilitates the diagnosis of small liver tumors and can also aid the surgeon in his choice of technique, especially in cases of cirrhosis of the liver. A resection can be avoided altogether when multiple lesions are involved, or echo-guided subsegmentary resections can be performed in cirrhotic livers when a less extended resection is required. This technique makes it possible to establish the relationship between the tumor and intrahepatic vessels, thus preventing vascular injury and making radical hepatic resection safer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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