Journal of Korean Society of Medical Ultrasound 2004;23(3): 127-132.
Usefulness of the Hepatic Vein Transit Time Measured by Contrast-enhanced Gray-scale Harmonic Imaging in the Differentiation of Liver Cirrhosis and Chronic Hepatitis.
Na Mi Choi, Won Jae Lee, Hyo Keun Lim, Jae Hoon Lim
Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Korea.
  Published online: September 1, 2004.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the usefulness of the hepatic vein transit time (HVTT)obtained by contrast-enhanced gray-scale harmonic imaging for the detection of liver cirrhosis (LC)in patients with chronic hepatitis (CH). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Over a recent 8-month period, 31 patients with pathologically proven chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis (n=8)or chronic hepatitis alone (n=23) were prospectively examined using contrast-enhanced pulse inversion harmonic imaging (HDI 5000: Philips, Bothell, Wash). The HVTT was defined as the time interval from the initiation of an intravenous bolus injection of a microbubble contrast agent to the arrival time of the first echogenic bubbles in the hepatic vein. The HVTTs of the LC and CH groups were compared. Also, the diagnostic value of different values or ranges of HVTT for the detection of LC was assessed. RESULTS: The HVTT of the patients with LC (range, 1122 seconds;mean, 16.1+/-3.8 seconds) was significantly shorter than that of the patients with CH (range, 1335 seconds;mean, 22.7+/-5.8 seconds)(p<.001).An HVTT of 2224 seconds showed a sensitivity of 100%, but poor specificity (3952%)and a poor positive predictive value (3245%)for the detection of LC.In the range of HVTT from 18 to 24 seconds, 19 seconds seemed to provide the best predictive value for the detection of LC. CONCLUSION: HVTT appears to be useful for the detection of LC in patients with CH, however further study is needed, in order to improve on the limited diagnostic value of our results.
Keywords: Liver cirrhosis; Ultrasound (US), contrast media
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