Factors Affecting the Quality of Breast Quasistatic Ultrasound Elastograms

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Abstract

Objectives

To explore factors affecting the quality of quasistatic ultrasound elastograms of the breast and to evaluate their accuracy in distinguishing benign and malignant breast lesions.

Methods

A total of 663 patients with 702 breast lesions were recruited. All patients received both conventional ultrasonography and quasistatic elastography. Patients' breast lesions were divided into A and B groups according to satisfactory and unsatisfactory elastographic examinations. Group A included 590 satisfactory elastograms, whereas Group B included 112 unsatisfactory elastograms. Various factors—maximum depth of the lesion, maximum transverse diameter of the lesion, thickness of the adipose layer, thickness of the glandular layer, thickness of the breast, distance between the nipple and lesion, age, body mass index, and menopausal status—were analyzed and compared between the groups to gauge their effects on the quality of the elastograms.

Results

Significantly deeper lesions, higher maximum transverse lesion diameters, thicker adipose layers, thicker glandular layers, and thicker breasts were identified in group B patients compared to group A patients (P < .05). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that the maximum depth of the lesion, thickness of the adipose layer, and thickness of the breast were independent factors in the quality of elastograms. The area under the curve for the maximum depth of the lesion was 0.986 with the optimal cutoff threshold of 2.5 cm.

Conclusions

Quasistatic elastography can be a supplementary approach to conventional ultrasonography in helping improve the diagnostic accuracy of breast lesions. The depth and size of breast lesions are correlated with the quality of elastograms.

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