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World J Hepatol. 2015 Jul 18;7(14):1866-74. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i14.1866.

Usefulness of contrast enhanced ultrasound in monitoring therapeutic response after hepatocellular carcinoma treatment.

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Davide Roccarina, Matteo Garcovich, Maria Elena Ainora, Laura Riccardi, Maurizio Pompili, Antonio Gasbarrini, Maria Assunta Zocco, Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, 00168 Rome, Italy.


In the last years, the development in the oncology field has been huge and rapid. In particular, the evaluation of response to anti-tumour treatments has been being object of intense research, producing significant changes. Response assessment after therapy in solid neoplasias has always used radiological imaging techniques, with tumour size reduction representing a presumed therapeutic efficacy. However, with the introduction of anti-angiogenetic drugs the evaluation of tumour size has become unsuitable because some tumours, under treatment, show only tumour perfusion changes rather than lesion shrinkage. Between different imaging techniques with contrast-enhancement, contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and, in particular, dynamic CEUS have arisen as a promising and non-invasive device for monitoring cancer treatments. Moreover, the introduction of perfusion software has even more refined the technique since it is able to provide quantitative parameters related to blood flow and blood volume that can be associated with tumour response and clinical outcome such as the progression free survival and the overall survival. Here, we give an overview of the current status of CEUS in monitoring hepatocellular carcinoma response to different kind of treatments.


Ablative treatment; Anti-angiogenetic drugs; Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Time-intensitive curve

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