Evaluation of Hepatic Focal Nodular Hyperplasia with Contrast-Enhanced Gray Scale Harmonic Sonography: Initial Experience

Min Ju Kim, Hyo K. Lim, Seong Hyun Kim, Dongil Choi, Won Jae Lee, Soon Jin Lee, Jae Hoon Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To assess the potential of contrast-enhanced gray scale harmonic sonography in the evaluation of the typical vascular and enhancement patterns of hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia. Methods. Thirteen patients with 13 lesions of hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia underwent contrast-enhanced gray scale harmonic sonography. After the injection of a microbubble contrast agent (SH U 508A), gray scale harmonic sonographic studies using a Coded Harmonic Angio technique were performed with a combination of a period of continuous scanning to assess the vascular pattern (vascular imaging) and interval delay scanning to determine the sequential enhancement pattern (acoustic emission imaging). Each imaging pattern was categorized and analyzed by consensus of 2 experienced radiologists. Results. In 12 (92%) of 13 lesions, vascular imaging during the arterial phase showed central arteries of a spoked wheel pattern, whereas the remaining lesion had stippled vascularity. On acoustic emission imaging, 11 (85%) of 13 lesions were hyperechoic during the early phase, and the remaining 2 (15%) were isoechoic compared with surrounding parenchyma. Ten (77%) of 13 lesions remained either hyperechoic (5 of 13) or isoechoic (5 of 13) during the delay phase, whereas the remaining 3 lesions (23%) were hypoechoic. Conclusions. Contrast-enhanced gray scale harmonic sonography showed the typical vascularity of a spoked wheel pattern during the vascular phase and persistent enhancement on serial acoustic emission imaging in most cases of hepatic focal nodular hyperplasia, and thereby it can be a promising technique in noninvasive diagnosis of this entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-305
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Liver neoplasms
  • Sonography
  • Sonography, contrast agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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