• canine focal liver lesions;
  • contrast-enhanced ultrasound;
  • Sonazoid

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound using Sonazoid, a novel contrast medium with a liver-specific Kupffer phase, was evaluated in canine focal liver lesions Twenty-five dogs with a liver mass were given intravenous Sonazoid, and the enhancement pattern in the arterial, portal, and parenchymal phase was characterized. An enhancement defect in the lesion in the parenchymal phase was observed in all malignant lesions, whereas only one of nine benign lesions had a filling defect. The diagnostic value of the presence of a filling defect for malignancy was statistically significant (100% sensitivity, 88.9% specificity, 94.1% positive predictive value, 100% negative predictive value), and was equal to that of hypoenhancement in the portal or delayed phase. The defect pattern (clear or irregular defect) was dependent (P<0.05) on the types of malignancy (i.e., hepatocellular carcinoma and other types of malignancies). In the arterial phase, five of the six hepatocellular carcinomas had hypervascularity, whereas no other lesion was characterized by hypervascularity. In some dogs, additional lesions that could not be observed with conventional B-mode ultrasonography were detected in the parenchymal phase. The enhancement pattern of Sonazoid, especially in the parenchymal phase, has potential as a diagnostic tool for canine focal liver lesions.