, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1659-1667
Date: 05 Apr 2014

Stiffness of the surrounding tissue of breast lesions evaluated by ultrasound elastography

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the stiffness of the surrounding tissue of breast lesions using the strain ratio assessment method by ultrasound (US) elastography.

Methods

This was an institutional ethics committee approved prospective study. A total of 127 breast lesions in 118 women (mean age 48.23 ± 14.32, range 20–90) were examined with conventional and elastographic US. The strain ratio assessment method was utilized to semi-quantitatively evaluate the stiffness of the breast lesions and the surrounding tissue.

Results

Fifty-five lesions were malignant and 72 were benign. The strain ratio of the surrounding tissue was significantly higher in malignant cases (1.49 ± 0.67) than in benign ones (1.17 ± 0.44) (P = 0.001), and yielded an Az value of 0.669 in the diagnosis of breast lesions. There was a significant high positive correlation between the strain ratio of the lesion and the strain ratio of the surrounding tissue in the malignant group (r = 0.740, P < 0.001), and a significant moderate positive correlation in the benign group (r = 0.595, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

The stiffness of the surrounding tissue of malignant breast lesions was higher than that of benign lesions. The strain ratio of the surrounding tissue and the lesions was significantly correlated, and has potential for breast lesion diagnosis.

Key Points

• Stiffness of the surrounding tissue of malignant breast lesions was increased.

• Stiffness of the surrounding tissue correlated with stiffness of breast lesions.

• Stiffness of the surrounding tissue has potential use in diagnosis of breast lesions.