NICE diagnostics guidance
Issued: August 2012
DG5

SonoVue (sulphur hexafluoride microbubbles) – contrast agent for contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of the liver

This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at www.nice.org.uk/dg5

1 Recommendations

1.1 Contrast-enhanced ultrasound with SonoVue is recommended for characterising incidentally detected focal liver lesions in adults in whom an unenhanced ultrasound scan is inconclusive. An unenhanced ultrasound scan in which a focal liver lesion is detected, but not characterised, is defined as inconclusive.

1.2 Contrast-enhanced ultrasound with SonoVue is recommended for investigating potential liver metastases in adults:

  • if contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) is not clinically appropriate, is not accessible or is not acceptable to the person, and

  • in whom an unenhanced ultrasound scan is unsatisfactory and contrast is needed for further diagnosis.

1.3 Contrast-enhanced ultrasound with SonoVue is recommended for characterising focal liver lesions in adults whose cirrhosis is being monitored:

  • if contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not clinically appropriate, is not accessible or is not acceptable to the person, and

  • when unenhanced ultrasound scan is inconclusive.