What are the characteristics of breast cancers misclassified as benign by quantitative ultrasound shear wave elastography?

S. J. Vinnicombe (Lead / Corresponding author), P. Whelehan, K. Thomson, D. McLean, C. A. Purdie, L. B. Jordan, S. Hubbard, A. J. Evans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives
    Shear wave elastography (SWE) is a promising adjunct to greyscale ultrasound in differentiating benign from malignant breast masses. The purpose of this study was to characterise breast cancers which are not stiff on quantitative SWE, to elucidate potential sources of error in clinical application of SWE to evaluation of breast masses.

    Methods
    Three hundred and two consecutive patients examined by SWE who underwent immediate surgery for breast cancer were included. Characteristics of 280 lesions with suspicious SWE values (mean stiffness >50 kPa) were compared with 22 lesions with benign SWE values (<50 kPa). Statistical significance of the differences was assessed using non-parametric goodness-of-fit tests.

    Results
    Pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) masses were more often soft on SWE than masses representing invasive breast cancer. Invasive cancers that were soft were more frequently: histological grade 1, tubular subtype, =10 mm invasive size and detected at screening mammography. No significant differences were found with respect to the presence of invasive lobular cancer, vascular invasion, hormone and HER-2 receptor status. Lymph node positivity was less common in soft cancers.

    Conclusion
    Malignant breast masses classified as benign by quantitative SWE tend to have better prognostic features than those correctly classified as malignant

    © 2013 European Society of Radiology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)921-926
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuropean Radiology
    Volume24
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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