A Special Collection of Papers from the 25th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging
- The epidemic of increasing fatty liver disease and liver cancer worldwide, and especially in Western society, has given new importance to non-invasive liver imaging. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) using microbubble contrast agents provides unique advantages over computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the currently established methods. CEUS provides determination of malignancy and allows excellent differential diagnosis of a focal liver mass, based on arterial phase enhancement patterns and assessment of the timing and intensity of washout.
- Microbubble contrast agents were introduced more than 25 years ago with the objective of enhancing blood echoes and enabling diagnostic ultrasound to image the microcirculation. Cardiology and oncology waited anxiously for the fulfillment of that objective with one clinical application each: myocardial perfusion, tumor perfusion and angiogenesis imaging. What was necessary though at first was the scientific understanding of microbubble behavior in vivo and the development of imaging technology to deliver the original objective.