Strain Elastography for Prediction of Malignancy in Soft Tissue Tumours--Preliminary Results

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PURPOSE: To evaluate the ability of strain elastography to predict malignancy in patients with soft tissue tumors, and to compare three evaluation methods of strain elastography: strain ratios, strain histograms and visual scoring.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 60 patients with 61 tumors were analyzed in the study. All patients were referred due to suspicion of malignant soft tissue tumors after diagnostic imaging (contrast-enhanced MRI, CT or PET-CT). Ultrasound-guided biopsy was preceded by the recording of strain elastography video clips, which were evaluated in consensus between three investigators. Strain ratio, strain histogram analysis and visual scoring using a five-point visual scale were compared with the final pathology from either biopsy or resection of the tumors.

RESULTS: The difference between the mean strain ratio for malignant and benign tumors was significant (p = 0.043). The mean strain ratios for malignant and benign tumors were 1.94 (95% CI [0.37; 10.21]) and 1.35 (95% CI [0.32; 5.63]), respectively. There were no significant differences for strain histograms or visual scoring. Liposarcomas had lower mean strain ratio, strain histogram values, and visual scoring than other malignant tumors. When analyzing a subgroup of patients without fat-containing tumors (n = 46), based on appearance on MRI or CT, the difference between the mean strain ratios for malignant and benign tumors increased (p = 0.014).

CONCLUSION: The mean strain ratios of malignant tumors were significantly higher than the mean strain ratios of benign tumors. There was no significant difference for strain histograms and visual scoring. Strain ratios may be used as an adjunct in soft tissue tumor diagnosis, possibly minimizing the number of biopsies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltraschall in der Medizin
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)369-74
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

ID: 159106958