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Radiology. 1989 Aug;172(2):389-92.

Cirrhosis: diagnosis with sonographic study of the liver surface.

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Servizio di Radiodiagnostica, Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza, Italy.


To find an objective sonographic sign of cirrhosis, the authors used a small-parts probe to examine the liver surface for irregularities that corresponded to those of nodular regeneration. Fifty healthy subjects were examined to assess the pattern of a sonographically normal-appearing liver surface. A second group of 75 patients, mainly with suspected diffuse chronic liver disease, was examined with particular attention to the most commonly described sonographic signs of cirrhosis, and laparoscopy and biopsy were also performed. The liver surface was examined in a third group of 225 patients with cancer in whom metastases had been demonstrated sonographically. A diagnosis of cirrhosis was made with sonography when surface irregularities were observed that were comparable to the anatomic abnormalities of a cirrhotic liver surface. An examination of the liver surface gave the best diagnostic rate for cirrhosis (88%). There were seven false-negative results, but in five of them no surface nodularity could be seen at laparoscopy, and the diagnosis was made only on the basis of histologic studies; there was one false-positive result. This study indicated that ultrasonography might be a reliable method to follow up patients with chronic liver disease that may progress to cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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