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J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2006 Apr;11(2):113-23.

A review of breast ultrasound.

Author information

  • 1Silverstein, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. sehgalc@uphs.upenn.edu

Abstract

Frequent advances in transducer design, electronics, computers, and signal processing have improved the quality of ultrasound images to the extent that sonography is now a major mode of imaging for the clinical diagnosis of breast cancer. Breast ultrasound is routinely used for differentiating cysts and solid nodules with high specificity. In combination with mammography, ultrasound is used to characterize solid masses as benign or malignant. There is growing interest in using Doppler ultrasound and contrast agents for measuring tumor blood flow and for imaging tumor vascularity. Ease of use and real-time imaging capability make breast ultrasound a method of choice for guiding breast biopsies and other interventional procedures. Breast ultrasound is used in many forms. B-mode is the most common form of imaging for the breast, although compound imaging and harmonic imaging are being increasingly applied to better visualize breast lesions and to reduce image artifacts. These developments, together with the formulation of a standardized lexicon of solid mass features, have improved the diagnostic performance of breast ultrasound. Several approaches that are currently being investigated to further improve performance include: (1) computer-aided-diagnosis; (2) the assessment of tumor vascularity and tumor blood flow with Doppler ultrasound and contrast agents; and (3) tissue elasticity imaging. In the future, ultrasound will play a greater role in differentiating benign from malignant masses and in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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