SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Crouse Health has introduced a new imaging test to detect liver and kidney cancers that it says “up until now has only been available in larger markets such as Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.”
It’s called contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS).
The procedure uses contrast agents called “microbubbles,” Dr. Thomas Green, chief of radiology at Crouse Health, said in a news release.
Green recently took special training in CEUS at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Crouse Health said.
The microbubbles are “dramatically improving” the precision of diagnostic sonograms and expanding the clinical scope of a widely used, imaging modality.
Once injected in the patient’s arm, the microbubbles go directly to the suspected area of the liver or kidney, improving visualization of blood flow, the cardiovascular system and the movement of blood into vital organs, particularly the liver and kidney.
“Liver and renal lesions are very common,” Green said. “Differentiating benign from malignant can be difficult and expensive. Traditionally, this has been done with enhanced CT scanning, enhanced MRI or sometimes nuclear medicine.”
CEUS has advantages over all three methods, according to Green.
For example, CEUS doesn’t involve radiation, as CT and nuclear medicine do. It also doesn’t generate concerns about renal function or iodine contrast allergy.
It also doesn’t result in “issues” with metallic implants, internal pacemakers or claustrophobia, as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) procedure would produce.
And, according to Green, the test is “significantly less expensive” than other options, which is “important, especially with today’s high-deductible insurance plans.”
Crouse is expecting the number of cases using the new ultrasound-imaging test will increase once providers learn of its availability, Green adds.
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