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J Clin Imaging Sci. 2018 Feb 21;8:5. doi: 10.4103/jcis.JCIS_64_17. eCollection 2018.

Role of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Elastography in the Characterization of Focal Solid Hepatic Lesions.

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Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Pathology, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.



The purpose of the study is to investigate the usefulness of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography in the characterization of focal solid liver lesions as benign, malignant, or metastatic using ARFI two-dimensional (2D) imaging and ARFI quantification (shear wave velocities [SWVs]).

Materials and Methods:

Sixty lesions were included in this study. The lesions were classified into three groups: Group I included benign lesions (n = 25), Group II included malignant lesions (n = 27), and Group III included metastatic lesions (n = 8). ARFI elastography was performed in all these patients using a Siemens ACUSON S 2000™ ultrasound machine. Stiffness and size of the lesions were assessed on ARFI 2D images in correlation with B-mode ultrasound images. SWVs were obtained in these lesions for the quantification of stiffness.


In ARFI 2D images, malignant lesions were predominantly stiffer and larger, while benign lesions were softer and similar in size (P < 0.05). The mean SWVs in benign, malignant, and metastatic lesions were 1.30 ± 0.35 m/s, 2.93 ± 0.75 m/s, and 2.77 ± 0.90 m/s, respectively. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve of SWV for differentiating benign from malignant lesions was 0.877, suggesting fair accuracy (95% confidence interval: 0.777-0.976); with a cutoff value of 2 m/s, showing sensitivity: 92%; specificity: 96%; positive predictive value: 96%; negative predictive value: 93% (P < 0.05). Statistically significant difference exists in SWV of benign and malignant or metastatic lesions.


ARFI elastography with 2D imaging and quantification might be useful in the characterization of benign and malignant liver lesions.


Acoustic radiation force impulse; elasticity imaging; elastography; liver tumors; shear wave velocities

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