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Ultrasonography. 2014 Jan;33(1):26-33. doi: 10.14366/usg.13017. Epub 2013 Dec 9.

Usefulness of acoustic radiation force impulse elastography in the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant solid pancreatic lesions.

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  • 1Departments of Radiology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Departments of Internal Medicine, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the tissue stiffness of solid pancreatic lesions by using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography to differentiate benign from malignant pancreatic lesions.


ARFI elastography was performed in 26 patients who had 27 focal solid pancreatic lesions, including 8 benign lesions (mass-forming pancreatitis, 5; autoimmune pancreatitis, 3) and 19 malignant lesions (pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 16; metastasis from colorectal cancer, 2; malignant neuroendocrine tumor, 1). On the elastographic images of virtual touch tissue imaging (VTI), the echogenicity of the mass was categorized on a 5-grade scale. On the elastographic image of virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ), the shear wave velocities (SWVs) of the lesion and surrounding parenchyma were measured.


On the VTI images, the mean echogenicity score of the malignant lesions (3.7±1.0) was higher than that of the benign lesions (3.1±0.4; P=0.023). On the VTQ images, there were no statistical differences in the mean SWV between the benign (2.4±1.1 m/sec) and malignant (3.3±1.0 m/sec) lesions (P=0.101). However, the mean SWV difference values between the lesion and background parenchyma of the malignant lesions (1.5±0.8 m/sec) were higher than those of the benign lesions (0.4±0.3 m/sec; P=0.011).


ARFI elastography can determine the relative stiffness between a lesion and the background pancreatic parenchyma using VTI and VTQ, which is helpful in the differentiation between benign and malignant solid pancreatic lesions.


Elasticity imaging Techniques; Pancreas; Pancreatic neoplasms; Ultrasonography

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