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J Korean Soc Ultrasound Med. 2006 Jun;25(2):93-100. Korean. Original Article.
Oh JY , Cho JH , Choi JC , Shin TB , Lee JH , Yoon SK , Nam KJ .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, 1-3-ga, Dongdaesin-dong, Seo-gu, Busan 602-103, Korea.

PURPOSE: Vascular enhancement (VE) technology(ClarifyTM) is a new technique in vascular, B-mode imaging. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the value of VE technology in ultrasonographic diagnosis of abdominal vasculature. MATERIALS and METHODS: Seventy-one adult patients (39 men and 32 women; age range, 25-89 years; mean age, 56 years) who had undergone abdominal ultrasonography were included in this study. The imaging was performed with a 1.8-4.0 MHz convex array transducer (SONOLINE, Antares, Siemens Medical Solutions, WA) by an abdominal radiologist. The radiologist obtained images of the same vascular area with each of conventional ultrasonography imaging (CUS), tissue harmonic imaging (THI), CUS plus VE technique and THI plus VE technique. Images were divided into normal (56) and abnormal (15) groups. The vessel visibility, conspicuity of the vascular wall and contrast resolution with adjacent structures were evaluated in the normal group, and the lesion conspicuity and border sharpness were evaluated in the abnormal group. On the PACS monitor, the images were graded into four grades by two radiologists in consensus. Statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon signed rank test. RESULTS: In the normal group, all parameters of the ultrasonographic imaging which applied the VE technique were superior to those of the imaging without VE technique (p < 0.05). In the abnormal group, combined use of VE technique with CUS or THI provided better results than CUS or THI alone in terms of lesion conspicuity and border sharpness (p < 0.05). THI combined with VE technique provided the best image quality among the 4 ultrasonographic methods examined in this study for the evaluation of both normal and abnormal abdominal vessels (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: VE technology was a helpful technique to evaluate the abdominal vasculature. Furthermore, VE technique combined with THI provided better image quality than other ultrasonographic methods in the evaluation of abdominal vessels.

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