OBJECTIVE To assess the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) of the hepatic vein for the detection of hemodynamic changes associated with experimentally induced portal hypertension in dogs.
ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles.
PROCEDURES A prospective study was conducted. A catheter was surgically placed in the portal vein of each dog. Hypertension was induced by intraportal injection of microspheres (10 to 15 mg/kg) at 5-day intervals via the catheter. Microsphere injections were continued until multiple acquired portosystemic shunts were created. Portal vein pressure (PVP) was measured through the catheter. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography was performed before and after establishment of hypertension. Time-intensity curves were generated from the region of interest in the hepatic vein. Perfusion variables measured for statistical analysis were hepatic vein arrival time, time to peak, time to peak phase (TTPP), and washout ratio. The correlation between CEUS variables and PVP was assessed by use of simple regression analysis.
RESULTS Time to peak and TTPP were significantly less after induction of portal hypertension. Simple regression analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between TTPP and PVP.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE CEUS was useful for detecting hemodynamic changes associated with experimentally induced portal hypertension in dogs, which was characterized by a rapid increase in the intensity of the hepatic vein. Furthermore, TTPP, a time-dependent variable, provided useful complementary information for predicting portal hypertension.
IMPACT FOR HUMAN MEDICINE Because the method described here induced presinusoidal portal hypertension, these results can be applied to idiopathic portal hypertension in humans.