Superb microvascular imaging technology for ultrasound examinations: Initial experiences for hepatic tumors

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Purpose To explore whether superb microvascular imaging (SMI) technology could be helpful for the evaluation of hepatic tumors. Materials and methods Our institutional review board approved this study, and informed consent was obtained from all of the patients. Twenty-three patients with 29 hepatic tumors were enrolled in our study. The tumors consisted of hemangiomas (n = 15), focal nodular hyperplasias (FNHs) (n = 7), and hepatocellular carcinomas (n = 7). All lesions were pathologically (n = 2) or radiologically (n = 27) confirmed. The mean tumor diameter was 1.9 cm (range, 0.9 cm to 5.0 cm). Using SMI technology, all lesions were scanned and categorized into subgroups according to the flow pattern on the SMI. Results The hemangiomas exhibited nodular rim patterns (33%) and spotty dot-like patterns (20%), and both of these findings were very specific for the diagnosis of hemangioma. The FNHs exhibited spoke-wheel patterns (43%) and radiating vessel patterns (29%) that were very specific findings for the diagnosis of FNH. The other tumors did not exhibit any specific patterns on SMI. Conclusion Evaluations of the inner vascularities of hepatic tumors with the SMI technique were feasible, and the SMI features were significantly different between the different types of hepatic tumors. These differences could aid the diagnoses of hepatic tumors with US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2090-2095
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Focal nodular hyperplasia
  • Hemangioma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Superb microvascular imaging

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