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Eur J Radiol. 2013 Jun;82(6):929-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.015. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Virtual laparoscopy: Initial experience with three-dimensional ultrasonography to characterize hepatic surface features.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and Clinical Oncology, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1, Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan. tad_sekimoto@yahoo.co.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the potential utility of 3D-reconstructed sonograms to distinguish cirrhotic from non-cirrhotic livers by demonstrating hepatic surface characteristics.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A preliminary phantom study was performed to examine the potential resolution of 3D images, recognizing surface irregularities as a difference in height. In a prospective clinical study of 31 consecutive patients with ascites (21 cirrhosis, 10 non-cirrhosis), liver volume data were acquired by transabdominal mechanical scanning. The hepatic surface features of cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients were compared by 2 independent reviewers. Intra- and inter-operator/reviewer agreements were also examined.

RESULTS:

The phantom study revealed that 0.4mm was the minimum recognizable difference in height on the 3D sonograms. The hepatic surface image was successfully visualized in 74% patients (23/31). Success depended on the amount of ascites; visualization was 100% with ascites of 10mm or more between the hepatic surface and abdominal wall. The images showed irregularity of the hepatic surface in all cirrhotic patients. The surface appearance was confirmed as being very similar in 3 patients who had both 3D sonogram and liver resection for transplantation. The ability to distinguish cirrhotic liver from non-cirrhotic liver improved with the use of combination of 2D- and 3D-imaging versus 2D-imaging alone (sensitivity, p=0.02; accuracy, p=0.02) or 3D-imaging alone (sensitivity, p=0.03). Intra-/inter-operator and inter-reviewer agreement were excellent (κ=1.0).

CONCLUSION:

3D-based sonographic visualization of the hepatic surface showed high reliability and reproducibility, acting as a virtual laparoscopy method, and the technique has the potential to improve the diagnosis of cirrhosis.

PMID:
23453323
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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