ECR 2013 Rec: Ultrasound elastography in the diagnostic assessment of axillary lymph nodes in women presenting to a breast imaging centre #B0215 #SS202
B-0215 Ultrasound elastography in the diagnostic assessment of axillary lymph nodes in women presenting to a breast imaging centre
L. Sim, L. Leong | Thursday, March 7, 14:00 – 15:30 / Room F2
Purpose: To evaluate the performance of elastography in distinguishing benign and metastatic axillary lymph nodes.
Methods and Materials: 67 women with 72 sonographically visible axillary lymph nodes undergoing biopsy at our breast imaging centre were evaluated independently with conventional ultrasound, elastography and combined ultrasound and elastography (CEUS). The elastogram was classified as benign or malignant, based on the strain pattern, the length and area ratios of the lesion seen on elastography versus ultrasound. Validation of radiological diagnosis was by histopathology. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy of each test were compared individually and with CEUS. To obtain a parameter for diagnostic performance, ROC curves were plotted.
Results: Of the 72 axillary lymph nodes biopsied, 33 had metastases and 39 were benign. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of conventional ultrasound were 93.9%, 30.8% and 59.7%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of elastography were 93.9%, 97.4% and 95.8%, respectively, and that of combined ultrasound and elastography were 97 %, 92.3% and 94.4%, respectively. The sensitivities of all 3 tests were similar but the specificity and accuracy obtained by elastography and CEUS were significantly better than conventional ultrasound (P<0.0005). Elastography correctly diagnosed 96 % of histologically benign lymph nodes which were deemed malignant on ultrasound.
Conclusion: The use of elastography alone or combined with ultrasound has a higher specificity and accuracy than conventional ultrasound in evaluating axillary lymph nodes. Given the high specificity of elastography, biopsy could have been avoided in 96 % of cases classified as malignant on ultrasound but benign on elastography.