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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2012 Jun;38(6):933-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2012.02.034. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

A pilot study evaluating real-time shear wave ultrasound elastography of miscellaneous non-nodal neck masses in a routine head and neck ultrasound clinic.

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Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong c/o Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China.


A pilot study was performed to evaluate shear wave ultrasound elastography (SWE) for miscellaneous non-nodal/salivary/thyroid neck lesions. Forty-six lesions undergoing conventional sonography also underwent SWE. Elastic moduli from the stiffest areas in lesions were correlated with diagnosis. Forty lesions were benign (9 lipomas, 8 lymphatic/venous vascular malformations, 7 thyroglossal duct cysts, 4 branchial cleft cysts, 4 abscesses/phlegmons, 3 neurogenic tumors and 1 each of paraganglioma, sebaceous cyst, pseudotumor, hypertrophic scar, ranula) and 6 were malignant (1 malignant fibrous histiocytoma, 2 primary squamous cell carcinomas and 3 intramuscular metastases [2 squamous cell carcinomas, 1 malignant melanoma]).Median stiffness of malignant lesions (226.4 kPa, range 55.6 to 300.0) was higher than benign lesions (28.3 kPa, range 4.0 to 300.0) (p < 0.001). SWE cut-off with highest accuracy (174.4 kPa) achieved 83.3% sensitivity and 97.5% specificity, and the cut-off with 100% sensitivity (55.6 kPa) achieved 75% specificity. All malignant lesions were suspected on conventional sonography. The preliminary data indicate that SWE is feasible for miscellaneous neck lesions. SWE would not have altered management in terms of detecting undisclosed malignancies, although as a quantitative technique, it may increase the diagnostic confidence of less experienced operators performing head and neck ultrasound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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