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01/18/2012 10:55 AM

ULTRASOUND vs CONTRAST ULTRASOUND

sadlystillsane
sadlystillsane  
Posts: 942
Member

Well I had my ultrasound today. Abdominal ultrasound, done very quickly about 10 minutes. Within about 2 minutes the radiologist (I think) came in and said my liver was "unremarkable and no fluid was seen"....a slight cyst on my kidney which I've known about for years was their only significant finding.

Ok. Well the last u/s a year ago also said my liver was unremarkable. A month later an ultrasound guided biopsy didn't agree, and the surgeon said he could see cirrhosis from the ultrasound guide....

Ok so I am a 50 year old female, 5'8" tall. I weigh 158 lbs. I have until recently worn a size 10 or 12 pant. My waist measured at belly button is recently about 41-43 inches. That is an increase in size from 3 weeks ago...I can't zip up any pants.

I eat a 1200 calorie diet, nothing white, fried or processed. I rely mainly on fresh fruit, veggies, fish, grains and soy to make up my diet. Oh sure once in a while I have something else but I am pretty consistent. I don't drink anything with sugar in it.

But no ascites on ultrasound. My doc said she thought on physical exam that the change in my girth (which even she noticed) was fluid. She noted it sounded dull when she used her stethescope. But ultrasound saw nothing.

GRRRRR

Came home to a message from my hepatologist's nurse so when I returned her call (on another matter) I mentioned this ultrasound result. Her response was "that doesn't sound right"....so she said she would tell my Hep and he would likely order a Contast Ultrasound when I am in Edmonton next week. She said that is their 'standard' for u/sm now. Ok I know what it is, you use contrast. I just don't understand WHY it is better.

Isn't fluid easy to view on ultrasound? I feel awkward, heavy, uncomfortable, can't fit into my clothes....what the hell else can this be??? Anyone have similar situations? Is contrast ultrasound common for most of you? I've never heard of it....and what else could be causing this girth???

GRRRRR

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01/18/2012 11:02 AM
1polarbear
1polarbear  
Posts: 619
Member

Hey SSS, I have all the same symptoms in the stomach that you do, have for the last year or two. My MRI showed ascitis last August but the US in Nov showed now fluid. GI/NP said it looked more like air. I'm also thinking that I am not absorbing fat like I should and it's just sitting in my upper gut. I am so uncomfortable I just can't tell ya! I have had to give up wearing zip up anything and now wear elastic waist pants and large overshirts. My entire wardroom has changed. While working I wear scrubs but I have to wear size large. I am 5'7', 55 yr old and weight 150#. I don't care how much I exercise or diet, in the last few years I can't lose the gut. It's not lower like many menopause women have, it's upper, right under my ribcage. I look so out of proportion!

01/18/2012 11:09 AM
mikealpha1
mikealpha1  
Posts: 2286
Group Leader

The ascites is actually pockets of fluid. My fluid retention around was generally more diffuse. When they did my paracentisis they didn't usually get a lot off because there were few pockets.

Never had a contrast Ultrasound, CT yes. But the contrast will be in the blood vessels highlighting the organs better.


01/18/2012 07:09 PM
sammy566
sammy566  
Posts: 339
Member

I don't undestand why they are even doing an ultrasound.

While ultrasounds are good,they are nowhere near as accurate as a CT-Scan.

With a CT-Scan you can usually see the signs of Cirrhosis without doing a biopsy and then you got the MRI's, the best of test, but expensive.

Contrast ultrasound is widely used in Europe and Asia and it does give a better picture, but last I checked it had not been aproved by the FDA to be used in the USA.

Keep asking questions, get second opinions and never rely on just one source for your information.

Good luck and always follow your doctors instructions, but it's never a bad idea to get a second opinion from another prefessional, witch I'm not.

Good luck.

Sammy


01/19/2012 10:14 AM
sadlystillsane
sadlystillsane  
Posts: 942
Member

Hey Sammy,

I am in Canada so likely it has been approved here. MRI's are used less frequently due to the cost of course, but in Canada we don't pay for health care up front, our income tax pays that. I pay on average about 38% of my gross income to taxes both provincially and federally.

My hepatologist's nurse said she would try to schedule to contranst u/s for the same time frame as the MRI as I travel six hours to see him. The contrast u/s is not done here but his nurse tells me it is now their new 'standard' for u/s testing.

Personally with now two bad u/s experiences, I think they are USELESS. I still have a 41" abdomen on a 5'8" 158 pound frame which is ridiculous. I look 8 months pregnant at 50. And I have never carried much excess weight and have actually dropped about 5 pounds from the Christmas eating.....I'm sure it's nothing. Ya right. GGGRRRR!!!

I wish I lived in the U.S. where there are great specialists of all types virtually everywhere, with state of the art facilities and an acutal transplant list....here in Canada we rank 3rd last among westernized countries in transplants and 43% of liver recipients die waiting for a cadaver liver. So much for free (sort of) health care.....

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