3D Doppler ultrasound accurately identifies cancerous tumors

December 1, 2008

Three-dimensional (3D) power Doppler ultrasound helps differentiate malignant and benign breast lesions, according to a report in the November issue of Radiology.

Three-dimensional (3D) power Doppler ultrasound helps differentiate malignant and benign breast lesions, according to a report in the November issue of Radiology.

Gerald L. LeCarpentier, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the usefulness of a 3D Doppler ultrasound exam to distinguish benign and malignant lesions among women scheduled for a core or excisional biopsy of the breast due to a suspicious breast mass.

Overall, 78 women between the ages of 26 and 70 had the 3D ultrasound and were biopsied. 3D Doppler ultrasound had a sensitivity of 100% in identifying malignant tumors and a specificity of 86% in excluding benign tumors when used in combination with age-based assessment and gray scale visual analysis, the researchers report.

“Using 3D scans promises greater accuracy due to more consistent sampling over the entire tumor,” said LeCarpentier in a statement. “Using speed-weighted 3D power Doppler ultrasound, higher flow velocities in the malignant tumor-feeding vessels may be detected, whereas vessels with slower flow velocities in surrounding benign masses may be excluded.”

LeCarpentier GL, Roubidoux MA, Fowlkes JB, et al. Suspicious breast lesions: assessment of 3D Doppler US indexes for classification in a test population and fourfold cross-validation scheme. Radiology. 2008;249:463-470. DOI:10.1148/radiol.2492060888.