European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1803–1811 | Cite as

Diagnostic performances of shear wave elastography: which parameter to use in differential diagnosis of solid breast masses?

  • Eun Jung Lee
  • Hae Kyoung Jung
  • Kyung Hee Ko
  • Jong Tae Lee
  • Jung Hyun YoonEmail author



To evaluate which shear wave elastography (SWE) parameter proves most accurate in the differential diagnosis of solid breast masses.


One hundred and fifty-six breast lesions in 139 consecutive women (mean age: 43.54 ± 9.94 years, range 21–88 years), who had been scheduled for ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, were included. Conventional ultrasound and SWE were performed in all women before biopsy procedures. Ultrasound BI-RADS final assessment and SWE parameters were recorded. Diagnostic performance of each SWE parameter was calculated and compared with those obtained when applying cut-off values of previously published data. Performance of conventional ultrasound and ultrasound combined with each parameter was also compared.


Of the 156 breast masses, 120 (76.9 %) were benign and 36 (23.1 %) malignant. Maximum stiffness (Emax) with a cut-off of 82.3 kPa had the highest area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (Az) value compared with other SWE parameters, 0.860 (sensitivity 88.9 %, specificity 77.5 %, accuracy 80.1 %). Az values of conventional ultrasound combined with each SWE parameter showed lower (but not significantly) values than with conventional ultrasound alone.


Maximum stiffness (82.3 kPa) provided the best diagnostic performance. However the overall diagnostic performance of ultrasound plus SWE was not significantly better than that of conventional ultrasound alone.

Key Points

SWE offers new information over and above conventional breast ultrasound

Various SWE parameters were explored regarding distinction between benign and malignant lesions

An elasticity of 82.3 kPa appears optimal in differentiating solid breast masses

However, ultrasound plus SWE was not significantly better than conventional ultrasound alone


Ultrasound Elastography Shear wave Breast Neoplasm 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun Jung Lee
    • 1
  • Hae Kyoung Jung
    • 1
  • Kyung Hee Ko
    • 1
  • Jong Tae Lee
    • 1
  • Jung Hyun Yoon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, CHA Bundang Medical CenterCHA University, School of MedicineSeongnam-siKorea
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Research Institute of Radiological ScienceYonsei University, College of MedicineSeodaemun-guKorea

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