Published online Nov 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i42.4654
Revised: June 15, 2011
Accepted: June 22, 2011
Published online: November 14, 2011
Rapid advances in imaging technology have improved the detection, characterization and staging of colorectal liver metastases. Multi-modality imaging approach is usually the more useful in diagnosis colorectal liver metastases. It is well established that hepatic resection improves the long-term prognosis of many patients with liver metastases. However, incomplete resection does not prolong survival, so knowledge of the exact extent of intra-hepatic disease is crucially important in determining patient management and outcome. The diagnosis of liver metastases relies first and totally on imaging to decide which patients may be surgical candidates. This review will discuss the imaging options and their appropriate indications. Imaging and evaluating of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) have been performed with contrast-enhanced ultrasound, multi-detector computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with extra-cellular contrast media and liver-speciﬁc contrast media MRI, and positron emission tomography/computed tomography. This review will concentrate on the imaging approach of CRLM, and also discuss certain characteristics of some liver lesions. We aim to highlight the advantages of each imaging technique, as well as underscoring potential pitfalls and limitations.