Background: Cirrhosis is accompanied by several hemodynamic changes such as intrahepatic shunts, intrapulmonary shunts, mesenteric ateriovenous shunts, arterisation of the liver, and hyperdynamic state. We assumed that the arrival pattern of a peripheral venous injection of ultrasound contrast agent measured at the hepatic vein would be efficient for evaluating liver condition. Patients and Methods: Twelve patients with pathologically proven chronic hepatitis, 13 patients with pathologically or clinically diagnosed cirrhosis, and 10 volunteer controls were enrolled in this study. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography was carried out focusing on the hepatic vein. We injected 2.5 grams of the contrast agent SHU 508 A (Levovist®; Schering, Berlin) at a concentration 300 mg/dl intravenously at the rate of 2 ml per second. The ultrasonographic examination was recorded on video tape, and we continuously measured the intensity of the signal in the hepatic vein and analyzed the time-intensity curve. Results: Arrival time was significantly shorter and absolute peak enhancement was significantly greater in the cirrhosis group than in the control group (pConclusion: The results imply that transit-time analysis of an ultrasound contrast agent would be useful in distinguishing cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis and could serve as another indicator of progression status of diffuse liver disease.