What Is an Echogenic Lesion in the Liver?

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An echogenic lesion in the liver is a lesion which appears in the results of a liver ultrasound as either a lighter or darker coloring than the surrounding liver tissue. According to Wikipedia, echogenicity is the ability to bounce an echo back from tissue during an ultrasound examination.

Echogenic lesions located in the liver can be either benign or malignant, according to Loyola University Chicago, Health Sciences Division. Common types of benign liver lesions include cysts, abscesses and hepatic adenomas. Radiopaedia.org lists hepatic metastases, cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma as three examples of malignant hyperechoic liver lesions and adds that hepatocellular carcinoma frequently occurs in a cirrhotic liver.

Wikipedia explains that hyperechoic tissues appear in ultrasound imaging when the echo bounces back from the tissue with increased sound, thus indicating higher echogenicity. Hypoechoic tissue, which indicates lower echogenicity, occurs as the echo bounces back from the tissue with decreased sound.

Radiopaedia.org states that 65 percent of all liver metastases are categorized as hypoechoic; this includes metastases caused by lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma, among others. Patients who receive ultrasound results indicating lesions, masses or other abnormal findings should follow up with their physicians as soon as possible for further evaluation.