Contrast-enhanced ultrasound assessment of tissue response to high-intensity focused ultrasound.
Kennedy JE., ter Haar GR., Wu F., Gleeson FV., Roberts IS., Middleton MR., Cranston D.
We report the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography as an immediate means of assessing the clinical response to high-intensity focused ultrasound (US) or HIFU treatment of liver tumours. HIFU is a noninvasive transcutaneous technique for the ablation of tumours that has been shown to destroy tumour vasculature, as well as to cause coagulative necrosis of tumour cells. As a dynamic indicator of tissue perfusion, microbubble contrast agents have already been reported to increase the diagnostic sensitivity of ultrasonography in the detection of liver tumours. This report documents the ability of one i.v. microbubble contrast agent (SonoVue, Bracco, Italy) to delineate the extent of HIFU ablation by comparison of pre- and immediately posttreatment perfusion within the target tumour. Observed changes were seen to correlate well with the ablated volume on histologic evaluation of the treated volume. This is the first time that this imaging technique has been reported in this setting.