Public Release:  Using contrast enhanced sonography improves diagnosis of liver and spleen injuries

American College of Radiology

Contrast-enhanced sonography shows liver and spleen injuries better than non-contrast enhanced sonography, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine department of radiology in Sacramento, CA.

This study included 22 liver, spleen or renal injuries. Contrast-enhanced sonography depicted 20 (91%) of the 22 injuries while non-contrast-enhanced sonography revealed 11 (50%).

"The main focus of sonography for patients with blunt abdominal trauma is to detect free fluid," said John McGahan, MD, lead author of the study. Free fluid is non-clotted blood within the peritoneal cavity. "However, there could be an organ injury without free fluid and the injury could be missed," he said. "Contrast-enhanced sonography allows the radiologist to see free fluid as well as the injury itself," he said.

On a scale ranging from 0, being non-visualization, to 3, being high visualization, the average grade went from 0.67 to 2.33 for spleen injuries and from 1.0 to 2.2 for liver injuries when comparing contrast-enhanced sonography to non-contrast-enhance sonography, said Dr. McGahan.

"We are very happy with the results and can say that the use of contrast-enhanced sonography is accurate for depicting solid organ injuries," said Dr. McGahan.

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This study appears in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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