Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage assisted by real-time virtual sonography: a retrospective study
BACKGROUND Three-dimensional (3D) images can be generated using thin sections from multi-detector row computed tomography (CT) and computer software, simulating images obtained using conventional ultrasonography (US). This software allows easy diagnosis of abdominal lesions and subsequent treatment of focal liver lesions such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The present study used newly developed virtual US software for diagnose and treatment of hepatobiliary disease. METHODS The software was used to create virtual US images in 10 subjects. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) was performed by virtual US in seven patients with HCC. RESULTS Slices were easily reconstructed from various angles, and each slice was continuously animated as with conventional US in all subjects. Moreover, when seven patients with HCC were examined using virtual US, HCC nodules were visualized and could be treated with RFA. CONCLUSIONS Virtual US should prove useful for visualization of HCC nodules that cannot be seen under conventional US. Virtual US is a useful tool for US-guided treatment of HCC.