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Arch Med Sci. 2011 Feb;7(1):127-33. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2011.20617. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Factors influencing breast elasticity measured by the ultrasound Shear Wave elastography - preliminary results.

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Department of Mother's and Child's Health, University of Medical Sciences, Gynecologic and Obstetrical University Hospital, Poznan, Poland.



Many physiological changes of breast elasticity depend on the age, hormonal status, menstrual cycle and many others. The aim of this study was to evaluate viscoelastic properties of normal breast tissues in a large group of women and to search for factors which play a role in its mechanical properties.


101 women aged 18-74 years who underwent B-mode sonography and additionally sonoelastography. We measured viscoelasticity in 8 quadrants by a share wave ultrasonic device estimating Young modules in regions of interest.


Mean elasticity measured in all 8 scans in glandular and fatty tissue were 11.28 ±5.79 kPa (0.1-46.26 kPa) and 9.24 ±4.48 kPa (0.1-29.78 kPa), respectively. The correlation between age and mean elasticity of glandular tissue was Rs = 0.27 (p = 0.007). The correlation between glandular tissue elasticity heterogeneity and breast mastalgia measured by VAS was Rs = -0.23 (p = 0.241). Fat tissue elasticity correlated with duration of lactation was Rs = 0.21 (p = 0.01).


There are several parameters influencing breast viscoelasticity measured by share wave sonoelastography. Glandular tissue elasticity correlates positively with age, fatty tissue elasticity correlates positively with duration of lactation and heterogeneity of the elasticity map of glandular tissue correlates with breast pain and fat tissue with BMI.


breast elasticity; breast ultrasound; elastography; share wave elastography; viscoelasticity

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