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Breast. 2008 Jun;17(3):252-7. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Improving B mode ultrasound evaluation of breast lesions with real-time ultrasound elastography--a clinical approach.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.


Ultrasound elastography using the extended combined auto-correlation method of tissue elasticity allows for real-time strain image visualisation using a free-hand probe with concurrent conventional B mode imaging. Four hundred and fifteen consecutive women with 550 breast lesions confirmed on B mode ultrasound were assessed with elastography using the elasticity score. There were 119 malignant and 431 benign lesions. The elastography sensitivity was 78.0%, specificity was 98.5% and overall accuracy was 93.8%. The median score for malignancy was 5 and that for benign lesions was 2. There was good correlation with B mode BIRADS category. 98.6% of lesions with an elasticity score of 2 or below (95%CI=96.8-99.4) were benign. BIRADS 3 lesions with an elasticity score of 2 or below may be re-classified as BIRADS 2 lesions. We found that 15.3% of BIRADS 2 and 3 lesions with an elasticity score of 3 were malignant. Real-time ultrasound elastography is user-friendly with a high accuracy rate, thereby improving B mode ultrasound assessment.

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