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Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2010 Jan-Feb;51(1):79-85.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography for characterization of canine focal liver lesions.

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Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, N18 W9 Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0818, Japan.


In six normal beagles and 27 dogs with spontaneous focal or multifocal liver lesions, contrast-enhanced ultrasonography using Sonazoid was performed. Sonazoid is a newly developed second-generation contrast agent with the ability to be used for real-time contrast imaging along with parenchymal imaging. An appropriate protocol for the evaluation of all three phases (arterial, portal, and parenchymal) was established based on the results for normal beagles. By evaluation of the echogenicity of hepatic nodules during the arterial and parenchymal phases it was possible to differentiate malignant tumors from benign nodules with very high accuracy. In 15 of 16 dogs diagnosed as malignant tumors, nodules were clearly hypoechoic to the surrounding normal liver during the parenchymal phase. Additionally, malignant tumors had different echogenicity compared with the surrounding normal liver during the arterial phase in 14 of 15 dogs. In the portal phase, there were no characteristic findings. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with Sonazoid appears to improve the characterization of canine focal and multifocal hepatic lesions.

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