Conventional ultrasound including 2D and Doppler ultrasound plays an important role in screening for postoperative vascular complications after liver transplantation, but vascular visualization is not always satisfactory.
A research article to be published on August 7, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) has been applied gradually in recent years because of its fine vascular tracing and perfusion visualization.
A research team led by Professor Yan Luo from West China Hospital found that CEUS improved the flow visualization of the hepatic artery, portal and hepatic veins and bridging vein, as well as evaluation of liver graft parenchyma perfusion.
CEUS has high sensitivity and specificity for finding hepatic artery thrombosis, hepatic artery stenosis, portal vein thrombosis and liver infarction. CEUS can be performed at the bedside, and has no iodine allergy or X-ray exposure. Therefore, this new technique should be used more frequently after liver transplantation.
Although this study included a limited number of patients, the research is interesting and the results are useful for diagnosis of vascular complications early after liver transplantation.
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