[Evaluation of a portable ultrasound device immediately after spiral computed tomography]

E Oschatz, H Prosch, E Schober, G Mostbeck
Ultraschall in der Medizin 2004, 25 (6): 433-7

AIM: Portable ultrasound devices are an established diagnostic tool. They are frequently used in trauma and emergency wards. Multidetector computed tomography (MD-CT) represents the standard imaging method for many diagnostic questions. In some patients, however, there are findings on CT which remain unspecific. In these cases, a complementary ultrasound (US) examination may help to obtain a specific diagnosis. Aim of this study is the evaluation of a portable US device immediately after MD-CT for further work-up of unclear lesions.

METHODS: 257 MD-CT examinations were performed during a 3-week period. A portable US device (LogiqBook, GE Medical Systems, Solingen, Deutschland) was used when a lesion found at MD-CT remained unclear. Time intervals between CT and US as well as US examination times were registered.

RESULTS: US was used in 23 of 257 CT examinations (8.9 %), but 3 of these examinations had to be terminated due to unfavourable US conditions. Thus, there remained 19 questions regarding parenchymal lesions in the liver (n = 13), kidney (n = 1) or suprarenal gland (n = 2). Pleural empyema was suspected in the 4 remaining patients. In all of the 20 patients, US helped to narrow down the differential diagnosis of MD-CT results. The mean time span between CT and US was 2.5 min, and the mean US examination time was 6.5 min.

CONCLUSION: Portable US immediately after MD-CT helps to narrow down the differential diagnosis of hepatic and pleural lesions with minimal additional effort in time and organization.

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