NICE supports SonoVue use in liver cancer diagnosis

The U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that supports the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound with Bracco's SonoVue ultrasound contrast agent for the diagnosis of liver cancer.

The guidance recommends the use of SonoVue in adults to investigate liver lesions that are detected incidentally, but not characterized, on an unenhanced ultrasound scan, according to NICE. It also recommends its use in adults to investigate potential liver cancer that has spread from other cancers in the body, and to investigate liver damage in adults with cirrhosis where unenhanced ultrasound scans are inconclusive, and if contrast-enhanced CT and contrast-enhanced MRI, respectively, cannot be used.

NICE's independent Diagnostic Advisory Committee concluded the evidence showed contrast-enhanced imaging with SonoVue is less costly and more effective compared with contrast-enhanced CT and MRI for characterizing incidentally detected liver lesions, according to a statement by Dr. Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Center Director.

The committee also concluded SonoVue is an effective use of National Health Service (NHS) resources in patients with suspected liver cancer that has spread from other cancers in the body and in patients with liver cirrhosis for whom CT or MRI are not suitable, she said.

The full guidance can be found here.

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