November 4, 2015 --
The study, led by Dr. Tobias de Zordo of Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, included 30 patients who had CT or MR exams between March 2013 and January 2014. These exams showed kidney lesions that were either undetectable or difficult to distinguish with conventional ultrasound. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound images were combined with the CT and MR images; in 87% of the study cohort, this image fusion and the ultrasound were performed at the same time.
In 18 of the 30 patients, fusion imaging was performed because a lesion could not be distinguished due to the presence of other, similar lesions in one kidney. In the remaining 12 patients, the kidney lesions were solitary but couldn't be detected with conventional ultrasound alone.
Fusion imaging of contrast-enhanced ultrasound clarified the character of the kidney lesion in 80% of patients, the researchers found, making the technology a useful tool for this purpose, while at the same time minimizing patients' radiation exposure.