Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography depicts small tumor vessels for the evaluation of pancreatic tumors

Yuko Okamoto, Hirofumi Kawamoto, Akinobu Takaki, Etsuji Ishida, Tsuneyoshi Ogawa, Kenji Kuwaki, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Kohsaku Sakaguchi, Yasushi Shiratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
  • Levovist
  • Pancreatic tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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