Radiol Med. 2022 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s11547-022-01546-w. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To assess the role of 2D-shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) in differentiating benign from malignant focal breast lesions (FBLs), providing new vendor-specific cutoff values.
METHODS: 158 FBLs (size: 3.5-50 mm) detected in 151 women (age: 21-87 years) were prospectively evaluated by means 2D-SWE. For each lesion, an expert radiologist assessed US BI-RADS category and calculated the following four 2D-SWE parameters: (1) elasticity maximum (Emax); (2) mean elasticity (Emean); (3) minimum elasticity (Emin); (4) elasticity ratio (Eratio). US-guided core-biopsy was considered as standard of reference for all the FBLs classified as BI-RADS 4 or 5. For each 2D-SWE parameter, the optimal cutoff value for a diagnostic test was calculated using the Youden method. Diagnostic performance of the US BI-RADS and 2D-SWE parameters was calculated accordingly.
RESULTS: 83/158 (52.5%) FBLs were benign and 75/158 (47.5%) were malignant. Statistically significant higher stiffness values were observed in malignant FBLs for all 2D-SWE parameters than in benign ones (p < 0.001). 2D-SWE cutoff values were 82.6 kPa, 66.0 kPa and 53.6 kPa, respectively, for Emax, Emean, Emin and 330.8% for Eratio. The 2D-SWE parameter showing the best diagnostic accuracy was Emax (85.44%). Considering US BI-RADS 3 (n = 60) and 4a (n = 32) FBLs, Emax and Emean showed the best diagnostic accuracy (85.87% for both), without a statistically significant decrease in sensitivity (p = 0.7003 and p = 1, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Our study provides new vendor-specific cutoff values for 2D-SWE, suggesting its possible clinical use in the adjunctive assessment of category US-BI-RADS 3 and 4a breast masses.