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Elastography is a medical imaging modality that maps the elastic properties and stiffness of soft tissue. For example, cancerous tumours will often be harder than the surrounding tissue, and diseased livers are stiffer than healthy ones. The most prominent techniques use ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging MRI to make both the stiffness map and an anatomical image for comparison.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the chief cause of cancer death among women worldwide, with an estimated 1. Ophir et al raised the concept of ultrasound elastography in The first practical diagnostic equipment was released in
Ultrasound US elastography is a valuable imaging technique for tissue characterization. Two main types of elastography, strain and shear-wave, are commonly used to image breast tissue. The use of elastography is expected to increase, particularly with the increased use of US for breast screening.
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One of the first physical exam skills every physician learns is palpation, which is based on the premise that cancers feel harder than surrounding tissue. Using elastography, tissue stiffness or hardness can be measured and converted into an image. If the amount of force stress initially applied to tissue is known, elasticity can be determined.
Overall, 26 patients who did not present with masses on conventional ultrasound were excluded. Elastography was developed as an additional tool for ultrasound studies in the s. The addition of elastography to the lexicon aimed to improve the specificity SP of ultrasound, because low SP is currently a major barrier to the wide application of ultrasound in clinical practice.
Context: The recent introduction of elastography has increased the specificity of USG and enabled early diagnosis of breast cancer. Quantitative elastography, especially with strain ratio SR index, improves diagnostic accuracy and decreased number of biopsies. Aims: The purpose of this study was to assess the role of USG elastography in the differential diagnosis of breast lesions.
Shear wave elastography is a new method of obtaining quantitative tissue elasticity data during breast ultrasound examinations. Two orthogonal elastography images were obtained of each lesion. Observers noted the mean elasticity values in regions of interest ROI placed over the stiffest areas on the two elastography images and a mean value was calculated for each lesion.
Shear-wave elastography SWE is a recently developed ultrasound technique that can visualize and measure tissue elasticity. In breast ultrasonography, SWE has been shown to be useful for differentiating benign breast lesions from malignant breast lesions, and it has been suggested that SWE enhances the diagnostic performance of ultrasonography, potentially improving the specificity of conventional ultrasonography using the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System criteria. More recently, not only has SWE been proven useful for the diagnosis of breast cancer, but has also been shown to provide valuable information that can be used as a preoperative predictor of the prognosis or response to chemotherapy.