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J Korean Soc Ultrasound Med. 2012 Dec;31(4):203-212. Korean. Review.
Chung YE , Kim KW .
Department of Radiology, Research Institute of Radiological Science, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Contrast enhanced ultrasound, which was introduced in 1996, has been widely used in Europe and Eastern Asia. Ultrasound contrast agent can be classified as first generation and second generation, depending on the gas within the microbubble. With the first generation contrast agent, the high MI technique was used, and only intermittent scanning was possible due to destruction of the microbubble during scanning. Use of the second generation contrast agent with the low MI technique makes continuous scanning possible. Contrast enhanced US can be used in detection and differentiation of focal liver lesions. It is also helpful for monitoring of radiofrequency ablation and for targeting of US guided biopsy. Currently, because morphologic criteria alone may not reflect the response of the tumor to treatment, new criteria are needed for treatment evaluation after administration of anti-angiogenic agents. Contrast enhanced US could provide quantitative markers for evaluation of the response to treatment via use of dynamic contrast enhanced US. Due to cost-effectiveness, contrast enhanced US is not yet widely used in Korea; however, considering recent issues regarding contrast agent related adverse reaction, such as contrast induced nephropathy and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, and radiation exposure, contrast enhanced US might be more widely used in Korea, as an alternative imaging modality in the future.

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