, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 185-198,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 18 Dec 2012

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound performed under urgent conditions. Indications, review of the technique, clinical examples and limitations

Abstract

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is an imaging technique with various indications, most of which refer to scheduled examinations. However, CEUS can also be performed under urgent conditions for the investigation of many different clinical questions. This article reviews basic physics of ultrasound contrast agents and examines the commonest urgent clinical applications of CEUS. These include, among others, abdominal solid organ trauma and infarcts, scrotal and penile pathology and blood vessel imaging. Patients can be examined with a very short time delay at their bedside, without exposure to ionising radiation or risk of anaphylactic reaction and renal failure, while contraindications are minimal. CEUS technique is described for various urgent indications and imaging examples from our department’s experience are presented. Safety matters and limitations of CEUS are also mentioned.

Teaching Points

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) can be performed urgently for various clinical applications.

Abdominal indications include solid organ trauma and infarcts.

CEUS in abdominal organ trauma correlates well with CT and can replace it for patient follow-up.

CEUS images testicular torsion, infection and infarction, as well as testicular and penile trauma.

Blood vessels can be assessed with CEUS for obstruction, aneurysm, thrombosis and dissection.