How to Best Image Colorectal Liver Metastases
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Purpose of Review
Colorectal liver metastases affect about half of the patients with colorectal cancer and have an impact on prognosis. Resection of liver metastases, even after downstaging with chemotherapy, improves patient survival. Several imaging modalities are available for initial detection and follow-up of liver metastases. Our purpose is to review the advantages and disadvantages of each modality and to determine which is the optimal way to evaluate colorectal liver metastases in each phase of the patient’s journey.
The available evidence derives mostly from comparative studies and meta-analysis, with only few available randomized trials. MRI with DWI sequences and liver-specific contrast agents appears to be the most accurate modality for the detection of liver metastases.
Different imaging modalities can be used successfully for the detection and follow-up of colorectal liver metastases, depending on the stage of the disease and patient characteristics. A stepwise approach is recommended, instead of using all modalities in each patient.
KeywordsColon cancer Liver metastases Liver resection Chemotherapy follow-up
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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