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Gynecol Oncol. 1996 Jun;61(3):354-63.

Classification of adnexal tumors by transvaginal color Doppler.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Freiburg, Germany.


The purpose was to evaluate the validity of transvaginal color Doppler sonography for differentiating between benign and malignant ovarian tumors. Color Doppler and Duplex measurements were obtained in 212 (144 benign, 68 malignant) ovarian and tubarian tumors preoperatively. One hundred and thirty-one patients were postmenopausal and 81 premenopausal. An ATL UM9/HDI was used. The following criteria were analyzed: minimum and mean resistance index and pulsatility index, number and distribution of tumor arteries, diastolic notch, and the maximum, minimum, mean, and sum of all peak systolic, maximum enddiastolic, and time-average maximum velocities. Most criteria showed highly significant differences between benign and malignant tumors with variable overlaps. RImin gives a sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 69%, and accuracy of 75% for postmenopausal patients and 80, 59, and 67% for pre- and postmenopausal patients, respectively. PImin gives equivalent results. The number of tumor arteries and the maximum flow velocities increase the accuracy. The summation of all flow velocities gives the best result with a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 85%, and accuracy of 87% for postmenopausal and 91, 76, and 80% for pre- and postmenopausal tumors, respectively. Flow data show no relevant differences between low malignant potential tumors and ovarian carcinomas. Serous cystadenomas and benign teratomas show higher differences than mucinous cystadenomas, functional cysts, and endometriomas in comparison to malignancies. A separate analysis of pre- and postmenopausal tumors is important. Differentiation seemed better for post- than for premenopausal tumors. The four flow criteria (RImin, number of tumor arteries, and maximum and sum of all peak systolic velocities) seemed appropriate for tumor differentiation. However, this study confirms that a single measurement is not sufficient to differentiate ovarian lesions. Measurements of flow velocities (e.g., maximum and sum of all peak systolic velocities) are superior compared with RImin and PImin.

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