Safety of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in children for non-cardiac applications: a review by the Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR) and the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS)
PURPOSE To prospectively compare the sensitivity and specificity of ultrasonography (US) with those of contrast material-enhanced US in the depiction of solid organ injuries in children with blunt abdominal trauma, with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) as the reference standard. MATERIALS AND METHODS The study protocol was approved by the ethics board, and written informed consent was obtained from parents. US, contrast-enhanced US, and contrast-enhanced CT were performed in 27 consecutive children (19 boys, eight girls; mean age, 8.9 years +/- 2.8 [standard deviation]) with blunt abdominal trauma to determine if solid abdominal organ injuries were present. Sensitivity, specificity, agreement, accuracy, number of lesions correctly identified, and positive and negative predictive values were determined for US and contrast-enhanced US, as compared with contrast-enhanced CT. RESULTS In 15 patients, contrast-enhanced CT findings were negative. Contrast-enhanced CT depicted 14 solid organ injuries in 12 patients. Lesions were in the spleen (n = 7), liver (n = 4), right kidney (n = 1), right adrenal gland (n = 1), and pancreas (n = 1). Contrast-enhanced US depicted 13 of the 14 lesions in 12 patients with positive contrast-enhanced CT findings and no lesions in the patients with negative contrast-enhanced CT findings. Unenhanced US depicted free fluid in two of 15 patients with negative contrast-enhanced CT findings and free fluid, parenchymal lesions, or both in eight of 12 patients with positive contrast-enhanced CT findings. Overall, the diagnostic performance of contrast-enhanced US was better than that of US, as sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 92.2%, 100%, 100%, and 93.8%, respectively. CONCLUSION Contrast-enhanced US was almost as accurate as contrast-enhanced CT in depicting solid organ injuries in children.