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Critically evaluate the efficancy of diagnostic ultrasound in the diagnosis and manangement of liver disease - Essay Example

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Critically evaluate the efficancy of diagnostic ultrasound in the diagnosis and manangement of liver disease

First, a general description of the liver, including related affectations for this organ will be presented. Secondly, a critical assessment of the role of diagnostic ultrasound in the diagnosis of benign and diffuse liver condition will also be considered. Thirdly, other imaging modalities will also be discussed. Limitations in the use of ultrasound and other modalities shall be evaluated. Fourthly, this paper shall also consider the new advantages which help in the diagnosis of hemangioma and cirrhosis (contrast agent and Doppler). Finally, a summary and conclusion will be drawn from the entire discussion. 2. Literature Review A. Diffuse liver conditions Diffuse liver conditions may also be apparent for some patients. These conditions often lead to failures in the main functions of the liver in detoxifying and synthesizing (Stocksley, 2001). As a result, jaundice often becomes apparent in these patients. Where there is a more significant failure in liver functions, then the patient may die (Stocksley, 2001). Cirrhosis is one of these diseases featuring diffuse liver conditions. It refers to the scarring of the liver, accompanied by poor liver functions. It is also the final stage in chronic liver disease. It is usually caused by hepatitis C infection, long-term alcohol abuse, autoimmune inflammation of the liver, and related diseases which are usually prolonged (Longstreth, 2011). The pathophysiology of this disease is indicated in Appendix F. Diffuse liver conditions were chosen for this study because most of the time, these are usually chronic conditions which are major threats to the health of patients (Appendix E). There is a need to establish early and accurate diagnostic measures for these diseases in order to ensure early interventions and management of diffuse liver conditions, most especially liver cirrhosis. B. Imaging modalities for liver cirrhosis In a 2005 study by Zheng and colleagues, the researchers sought to establish the best option in the diagnosing liver cirrhosis based on three diagnostic applications – ultrasonography (otherwise known as US) (Appendix B), Computer Tomography (CT) (Appendix C), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (Appendix D). The authors reviewed imaging findings on US, CT and MRI covering 42 patients with liver cirrhosis, and they used severity scoring methods as outcome measures. Cirrhotic livers usually manifest in ultrasounds with livers having small nodes with irregularity in various areas. The caudate lobe may also appear larger, as well as fissures widened (Udell, et.al., 2012). Zheng and colleagues (2005) were able to establish that blunt liver edges, abnormalities in the parenchyma and changes in the liver morphology were the best predictive signals for an ultrasonography diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. For MRIs, the irregular liver surface, abnormalities in the parenchyma, and portal hypertension were considered the best predictive signs. These indicators were also apparent in the use of CT. In terms of accuracy and sensitivity, MRI presented as most accurate, and ultrasonography was the least accurate; however, for specificity, ultrasonography was more specific, and MRI was the least specific. The authors established that MRI and CT presented with greater superiority than US in the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis; however, no significant difference was seen in terms of diagnostic accuracy. In ...Show more
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Summary

The Efficiency of Diagnostic Ultrasound in the Diagnosis and Management of Liver Cirrhosis 1. Introduction Diagnosis is one of the most essential elements of efficient medical management. In order to establish the exact condition of patients, the patient has to be assessed and diagnosed first with the use of various assessment processes, including diagnostic tests…
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