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Ultraschall Med. 2010 Dec;31(6):596-603. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1245526. Epub 2010 Jul 7.

Sonoelastography in the diagnosis of malignant and benign breast lesions: initial clinical experiences.

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  • 1Gynecology & Obstetrics, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, Germany.



This prospective study aimed to compare sonoelastography, B-mode ultrasonography, and mammography in terms of their ability to distinguish benign from malignant breast lesions. We also assessed how the diagnostic value of sonoelastography differs between palpable and clinically occult lesions.


Evaluation revealed a total of 97 lesions (66 benign; 31 malignant) without histological confirmation at the time of the initial examination. The sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) as well as efficiency were calculated. These parameters were separately assessed for palpable lesions and for non-palpable lesions. We subsequently compared these results.


Sonography had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 82% (PPV: 71 %, NPV: 98%, efficiency: 87%). For mammography, the respective figures were 84% and 89% (PPV: 79%, NPV: 92%, efficiency: 88%). Sonoelastography had a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 48% (PPV: 39%, NPV: 78%, efficiency: 56%). The combination of sonography and sonoelastography yielded a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 38% (PPV: 43%, NPV: 100%, efficiency: 58%). The sensitivity and specificity were not statistically different between the groups of palpable and non-palpable lesions.


Sonoelastography is easily performed and not very time-consuming. Used by itself, the method is not more efficacious than alternative techniques. When used in conjunction with B-mode ultrasonography, the latter's sensitivity was increased, albeit at the expense of specificity.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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