Department of Intentional Ultrasound, Chinese Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, China.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of low-mechanical-index contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in assessing the response to percutaneous microwave ablation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma by comparing the results with those of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CEMRI). Between August 2005 and July 2011, 182 patients with 231 lesions treated by microwave ablation were included in the study. One month after microwave ablation, CEUS and CEMRI were performed to evaluate therapeutic responses. The difference in diagnostic accuracy between the two methods was analyzed to evaluate the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound after microwave ablation. The final diagnosis was based on computed tomography and MRI typical findings of therapeutic response of hepatocellular carcinoma, proven serum tumor marker levels and additional follow-up. The sensitivity of CEUS and CEMRI in evaluating the therapeutic effect of hepatocellular carcinoma was 86.5% and 84.6%; the specificity, 98.3% and 98.9%; and the accuracy, 95.7% and 95.7%.There was no significant statistical disparity between CEUS and CEMRI (p > 0.05).The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 98.1, 97.2 and 97.8% when CEUS was used in combination with CEMRI to evaluate the therapeutic response of hepatocellular carcinoma to microwave ablation. CEUS examination was proven to be a tolerable and easy modality for assessment of the therapeutic effect of microwave ablation and can provide results comparable to those obtained with CEMRI. Combining the results of these two examinations may reduce false-positive and false-negative diagnoses.