Objective: The aim of the present study was to systematically assess the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) vs. conventional transthoracic ultrasound (TUS) in improving diagnostic accuracy of percutaneous needle biopsy (PTNB) for subpleural lung lesions. Patients and Methods: 232 patients with subpleural lesions were 1:1 randomly assigned to a group were CEUS was performed (n=116, mean age=65.5±5.6, M=69) or not (n=116, mean age=66.0±5.3, M=70). For CEUS study was used an injection of 4.8 mL of SonoVue (Bracco, Italy). For PTNB was employed a Menghini-modified technique with a semi-automatic 18-gauge needle. Results: The mean diameter of subpleural lesions was 2.85±0.7 cm in the CEUS+ group and 2.95±0.6cm in the CEUS. group. Only 3 lesions, 1 in the CEUS+ group and 2 in the CEUS. group measured >5 cm. CEUS showed no superiority in terms of diagnostic accuracy compared to conventional TUS (p=0.34). Similar results were obtained in the sub-analysis of lesions sized between 1-2 cm (p=1.00) and 2-5 cm (p=0.08). As the lesion size increased, the detection rate of necrosis in lesions increased by CEUS (from 8% to 31%). CEUS showed no superiority in terms of diagnostic accuracy in the sub-analysis of necrotic lesions at CECT (p=0.38). AUC values for both the groups assessed an excellent diagnostic yield for TUS-PTNB (≥0.80). Conclusions: CEUS study does not improve the diagnostic accuracy of TUS-guided PTNB for peripheral lung lesions <5 cm of diameter. Further studies evaluating CEUS guidance for larger (>5 cm) and necrotic lesions are needed prior that its potential can be clarified.
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