Published online Jan 28, 2010. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v2.i1.32
Revised: December 30, 2009
Accepted: January 4, 2010
Published online: January 28, 2010
The assessment of the extent of liver fibrosis is very important for the prognosis and clinical management of chronic liver diseases. Although liver biopsy is the gold standard for the assessment of liver fibrosis, new non-invasive diagnostic methods are urgently needed in clinical work due to certain limitations and complications of biopsy. Noninvasive imaging studies play an important role in the diagnosis of focal liver disease and diffuse liver diseases. Among them, ultrasonography is the first choice for study of the liver in clinical work. With the development of ultrasound contrast agents and contrast specific imaging techniques, contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) shows good performance and great potential in the evaluation of liver fibrosis. Researchers have tried different kinds of contrast agent and imaging method, such as arrival time of contrast agent in the hepatic vein, and quantitative analysis of the enhancement level of liver parenchyma, to evaluate the degree of liver fibrosis during the past 10 years. This review mainly summarizes the clinical studies concerning the assessment of liver fibrosis using CEUS.