, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 43-48
Date: 14 Feb 2014

Intraoperative Ultrasonography versus Helical Computed Tomography and Computed Tomography with Arterioportography in Diagnosing Colorectal Liver Metastases: Lesion-by-lesion Analysis

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Helical computed tomography with arterioportography (CTAP) and intraoperative sonography (IOUS) are both recognized to be extremely sensitive in the detection of liver metastases measuring <2 cm in diameter. As sensitivity and specificity values for both techniques differ significantly in the literature and in default of sufficient published data regarding this subject, a lesion-by-lesion analysis was considered necessary. Accuracy of IOUS was compared with helical computed tomography (CT) and portal-phase contrast enhancement (CTAP) in the preoperative detection of liver metastases from colorectal carcinoma projected as a prospective blinded study. Cost efficiency should be determined. Liver CTAP and IOUS were evaluated in 33 patients with colorectal carcinoma. Metastases were resected in 10 cases, and the remaining 23 patients were observed for follow-up with CT investigations every 3 months for a period of 1 year. CTAP and IOUS detected all 13 lesions measuring 5–10 mm (13/13). One metastasis measuring >10 mm was missed by IOUS. CTAP presented an ideal sensitivity of 100%, but specificity was as low as 68%. IOUS sensitivity was 98% and specificity was 95%. IOUS and CTAP are of comparable value regarding the detection of liver metastases <10 mm. Both techniques may be used if resections of synchronous or metachronous metastases are planned in order not to miss limiting small lesions and to prevent superfluous liver surgery. Helical CT scan with dynamic intravenous contrast enhancement is considered the most cost-effective preoperative staging method, although local staging may not be achieved because of insufficient intraabdominal survey.