NICE has assessed SonoVue to help the NHS decide whether to use this product.
SonoVue is a substance that is injected into the bloodstream to help make ultrasound pictures clearer. NICE looked at SonoVue when it is used with ultrasound to look at the liver. It can give doctors more information about abnormal-looking areas in the liver than normal ultrasound, which can help with the diagnosis.
NICE has said that SonoVue is recommended for use with ultrasound for examining abnormal-looking areas in the liver that are noticed, but cannot be properly identified, using normal ultrasound. These areas may have been noticed during routine scanning. If they were noticed when looking for cancer that has spread from another part of the body, SonoVue is recommended if the person cannot have or does not want a CT (computed tomography) scan. If they were noticed in someone with cirrhosis who is having their liver checked, SonoVue is recommended if the person cannot have or does not want an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.