Purpose: To describe our early experience using a contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) protocol for surveillance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at a semi-rural academic medical center. Methods: Retrospective, longitudinal study of the first 100 patients who underwent CEUS liver screening imaging over 2 years. Each patient underwent a standard of care abdominal ultrasound, which was checked with the radiologist, who searched for a focal lesion on the cine clips to target specifically with contrast. If none was present, the HCC contrast-enhanced screening protocol consisting of individual sweeps of the right and left lobes was performed from 0 to 60 s and 3–4 min post contrast—Lumason was utilized. Images, report details, and patient demographics were analyzed. Results: 66 men and 34 women (average age, 59 ± 13 years) were included. On average, the distance from patient’s home to our institution was 39 miles (range 2–179 miles). The majority of our patients were covered under Private insurance (46%) with 43% covered by Medicare. CEUS exams on average took 35 min to complete. Lumason was administered in split doses for an average total of 5 mL per exam. Of the 10 lesions identified, there were five LI-RADS 3, two LI-RADS 4, one LI-RADS 5, two LI-RADS M, and one bland portal vein thrombus. There were no complications reported. Conclusion: This semi-rural single-center study demonstrates the feasibility of starting a HCC CEUS screening program. CEUS can be performed in conjunction with routine ultrasound imaging with added benefit of identifying and characterizing lesions in one setting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging