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J Ultrasound Med. 2006 Dec;25(12):1577-81.

Sonographic quantification of ovarian tumor vascularity.

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Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, RR-1213, Medical Center North, 1161 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37232-2675, USA.



The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of quantitated color Doppler sonography in differentiating benign from malignant ovarian tumors, with the use of tumor histologic examination as a reference standard.


The vascularity of 38 ovarian masses (30 benign and 8 malignant) as quantitatively depicted with color Doppler sonography was analyzed with a readily available software program (ImageJ; National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD). The following quantitative sonographic criteria for tumor vascularity were analyzed: the vascularity index (VI) quantified the difference between the total number of pixels and the number of pixels containing no color/totalx100, whereas the power-weighted pixel density (PWPD) weighted the strength of the signal/total. The accuracy of sonographic criteria for malignant ovarian tumors was evaluated with univariate analysis. Results of tumor histologic examination were used as proof of the final diagnosis.


The mean values of VI and PWPD were significantly different in benign versus malignant ovarian lesions (VI, 1.3+/-1.6 versus 4.7+/-3.9; P<.01; PWPD, 2338+/-3305 versus 9403+/-9946; P<.05). With a VI of greater than 2.3, sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 90% were obtained. When combined with a PWPD of greater than 4555, sensitivity improved to 88%, and specificity improved to 93%. Morphologic analysis had sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 76% for malignancies.


Quantitated color Doppler sonography was found to be helpful for distinguishing benign from malignant ovarian masses. However, the wide range in values makes it most useful as an adjunct to morphologic assessment. It is anticipated that quantitated color Doppler sonography could result in a slight improvement in detection of ovarian malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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