Special Collection: Clinical Guidelines
- The present, updated document describes the fourth iteration of recommendations for the hepatic use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound, first initiated in 2004 by the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. The previous updated editions of the guidelines reflected changes in the available contrast agents and updated the guidelines not only for hepatic but also for non-hepatic applications. The 2012 guideline requires updating as, previously, the differences in the contrast agents were not precisely described and the differences in contrast phases as well as handling were not clearly indicated.
- The World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology has produced these guidelines for the use of elastography techniques in liver diseases. For each available technique, the reproducibility, results and limitations are analyzed, and recommendations are given. This set of guidelines updates the first version, published in 2015. Since the prior guidelines, there have been several advances in technology. The recommendations are based on the international published literature, and the strength of each recommendation is judged according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.
- Conventional diagnostic ultrasound images of the anatomy (as opposed to blood flow) reveal differences in the acoustic properties of soft tissues (mainly echogenicity but also, to some extent, attenuation), whereas ultrasound-based elasticity images are able to reveal the differences in the elastic properties of soft tissues (e.g., elasticity and viscosity). The benefit of elasticity imaging lies in the fact that many soft tissues can share similar ultrasonic echogenicities but may have different mechanical properties that can be used to clearly visualize normal anatomy and delineate pathologic lesions.
- The recent trend of a significant increase in publications on elastography evoked the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) to feel the urgent need to create guidelines on the clinical use of elastography. At the WFUMB congress in Vienna in August 2011, the WFUMB leadership decided to take initiative to create the guidelines; the first consensus meeting was held in March 2013 in Washington, DC, and this was followed by sponsoring an elastography consensus session at the WFUMB Congress in San Paolo in May 2013.
- The World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) has produced these guidelines for the use of elastography techniques in liver disease. For each available technique, the reproducibility, results, and limitations are analyzed, and recommendations are given. Finally, recommendations based on the international literature and the findings of the WFUMB expert group are established as answers to common questions. The document has a clinical perspective and is aimed at assessing the usefulness of elastography in the management of liver diseases.
- The breast section of these Guidelines and Recommendations for Elastography produced under the auspices of the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) assesses the clinically used applications of all forms of elastography used in breast imaging. The literature on various breast elastography techniques is reviewed, and recommendations are made on evidence-based results. Practical advice is given on how to perform and interpret breast elastography for optimal results, with emphasis placed on avoiding pitfalls.