The quality of liver assessment in an oncological patient plays an important role in the selection of a proper type of medical intervention. Diagnostic techniques commonly used in liver imaging are still far from perfect. Intraoperative liver evaluation using an intraabdominal ultrasound probe remains an important tool for proper assessment of this organ.
The aim of the study was to evaluate suitability of this intraoperative diagnostic method for detection of primary and secondary neoplastic pathologies of the liver.
Material and methods. Between March 2010 and the end of December 2011, we performed intraoperative ultrasound examinations of the liver during 220 of 461 laparotomies carried out for oncological reasons.
Results. In 72 patients (33%), intraoperative ultrasonography using an intraabdominal probe revealed neoplastic pathologies in the liver. In 16 patients (7%), the pathologies had not been observed in the preoperative imaging examinations. In 7 cases (3%), the detected tumors were impalpable and invisible in macroscopic examination routinely performed during laparotomy. The time of performing preoperative liver examinations did not affect the detection of previously unrecognized liver tumors (p > 0.05). We found progression in the number of liver tumors in 28 patients (39%). In 20 patients (9%), the primary surgical plans were changed intraoperatively.
Conclusions. Liver examination using an intraabdominal ultrasound probe is a useful tool for assessment of neoplastic disease progression. The procedure allows proper choice of an optimal treatment regime and decreases the risk of performing an unnecessary oncological invasive procedure.