Ultraschall Med 2020; 41(01): 8-11
DOI: 10.1055/a-0964-9827
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in Pregnancy: Is this the last frontier for microbubbles?

Kontrastverstärkter Ultraschall (CEUS) in der Schwangerschaft: Eine letzte Grenze für den Einsatz von Microbubbles?
Paul S. Sidhu
Dean Y. Huang
Cheng Fang
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Publication History

Publication Date:
05 February 2020 (online)

In this issue a group of researchers present their experience using the ultrasound contrast agent (UCA) SonoVue™ (Bracco SpA, Milan) in a series of pregnant women, assessing and characterising incidental focal liver lesions with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging as the reference standard [1]. The authors have assessed six pregnant women using contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) over a period of time, each with focal liver lesions not characterised on the baseline ultrasound examination, two of which were malignant, and without any recorded detrimental effect to the foetus. The presence of malignancy, unexpected in both cases, substantially altered patient management and confirmation of benign disease allowed for continued normal pregnancy management. The one case of Echinococcal disease maintained a normal pregnancy and delivery, with definitive management instituted post-delivery. All the patients avoided the potential of ionising radiation from a computed tomography (CT) examination, and underwent an MR examination without contrast enhancement (gadolinium). The authors argue that as the UCA is truly intra-vascular the UCA should therefore theoretically be of no hazard to the foetus during a CEUS examination, and this technique should be more widely applied during pregnancy to avoid imaging with MR and potentially CT, both with contrast agents that may have a deleterious effect in the foetus.