Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and drainage using extravascular contrast enhanced ultrasound

A Ignee, X Cui, G Schuessler, C F Dietrich
Zeitschrift Für Gastroenterologie 2015, 53 (5): 385-90

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and drainage (PTCD) is a common procedure for the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant biliary diseases. Ultrasound (US) is frequently used for the guidance of PTCD. Conventional fluoroscopy is applied to evaluate the biliary system, but delivers significant X-ray dosage to the patient and the interventional team. The purpose of this study is to test the ability of extravascular contrast-enhanced ultrasound (EV-CEUS) in US-guided PTCD to reduce or replace fluoroscopy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 38 patients underwent PTCD. 2 - 4 mL doses of a SonoVue dilution were repeatedly injected to demonstrate correct needle and drainage positions in the biliary system and in the intestine during the intervention and during follow-up to screen for complications. The results were compared to those of conventional radiography.

RESULTS: The success rate for cholangiography was 100 % for EV-CEUS and fluoroscopy each. 27/38 patients (71 %) received a ring catheter, 5/38 patients (13 %) received a metal stent. Only external drainage was possible in 6/38 patients (16 %) in the first session. In 50 % of them (3/38, 8 %) internalization was possible in the second attempt. With EV-CEUS the level of obstruction could be correctly diagnosed in 100 % of the patients. The degree of obstruction (complete/incomplete) could be correctly diagnosed in 37/38 patients (97 %). EV-CEUS was not able to demonstrate the guide wire. In 1/38 patient a hematoma appeared which was managed conservatively. Dislodgement was diagnosed in 2/38 (5 %) patients during follow-up by injecting EV-CEUS solution into the drain. Pleural injury with fistula could be demonstrated in 1/38 (3 %) patients.

CONCLUSION: EV-CEUS can monitor the success of insertion of needle and catheter, demonstrate or exclude complications, and therefore significantly reduce fluoroscopy time in US-guided PTCD. Fluoroscopy is needed whenever subtle wire steering is necessary as in most cases when the intestinal position of the drain is sought. If only external drainage is necessary fluoroscopy can be omitted.

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