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Diagnostic Accuracy of Shear Wave Elastography as an Adjunct Tool in Detecting Axillary Lymph Nodes Metastasis

Published:April 26, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2021.03.018

      Objectives

      This study evaluates the diagnostic performance of shear wave elastography (SWE) in differentiating between benign and axillary lymph node (ALN) metastasis in breast carcinoma.

      Materials and methods

      Breast lesions and axillae of 107 patients were assessed using B-mode ultrasound and SWE. Histopathology was the diagnostic gold standard.

      Results

      In metastatic axillary lymph nodes, qualitative SWE using color patterns had the highest area under curve (AUC) value, followed by B-mode Ultrasound (cortical thickening >3 mm) and quantitative SWE using Emax of 15.2 kPa (AUC of 81.3%, 70.1%, and 61.2%, respectively). Qualitative SWE exhibited better diagnostic performance than the other two parameters, with sensitivity of 96.0% and specificity of 56.1%. Combination of B-mode Ultrasound (using cortical thickness of >3 mm as cut-off point) and qualitative SWE (Color patterns of 2 to 4) showed sensitivity of 71.6%, specificity of 95%, PPV of 96%, NPV of 66.7%, and accuracy of 80.4%.

      Conclusion

      Qualitative SWE assessment exhibited higher accuracy compared to quantitative values. Qualitative SWE as an adjunct to B-mode ultrasound can further improve the diagnostic accuracy of metastatic ALN in breast cancer.

      Key Words

      Abbreviation:

      SWE (shear wave elastography), ALN (axillary lymph node)
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