Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography for the diagnosis of pancreatic tumors. Materials and methods: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with Levovist was performed on 62 consecutive patients (53 with pancreatic cancer, 4 with islet cell tumor, 3 with inflammatory pancreatic tumor, and 2 with metastatic tumor). The vascular and perfusion image phases of the tumors were evaluated and compared with the findings of contrast-enhanced computed tomography. Results: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography showed tumor vessels around and/or in the tumor at the vascular image phase in 79% of pancreatic cancer patients (42/53). At the perfusion image phase, 96% of pancreatic cancers (51/53) were classified as hypo-enhancement type. However, tiny spotty or irregular heterogeneous enhanced lesions were found in 84% of hypo-enhanced pancreatic cancer patients (43/51). The presence of small vessels at the vascular image phase was closely correlated with the presence of these intratumor regional enhanced lesions at the perfusion image phase (κ coefficient = 0.42). The sensitivity of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (100%) for pancreatic cancer was superior to that of contrast-enhanced computed tomography (91%), but no significant difference was observed between the two (McNemar test: p = 0.063). Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with Levovist successfully visualizes fine vessels and enhancement in pancreatic tumors, and is useful for evaluating pancreatic tumors.
- Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
- Pancreatic tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging