Percutaneous real-time sonoelastography as a non-invasive tool for the characterization of solid focal liver lesions: A prospective study
Di Lascio FML
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Background: Real-time sonoelastography is currently used for the characterization of superficial solid lesions such as thyroid and breast masses. This study evaluates the usefulness of percutaneous sonoelastography for the characterization of solid focal liver lesions. Methods: 30 out of 43 patients with 38 known liver lesions were included in a prospective, diagnostic study. Qualitative analysis (pattern of deformation, elasticity type of liver tumour) and semi-quantitative measurements (strain ratio, hardness percentage, histogram) were evaluated. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated and the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was constructed. Results: Patterns A and C-D are specific of benign lesions and metastases respectively. The patterns for haemangiomas, focal nodular hyperplasia and metastases were significantly different to each other in terms of strain ratio, hardness percentage and histogram (p lesser 0.05). A statistically significant difference (p lesser 0.001) was observed between the median values of the 3 measured parameters for benign (1.02; 12 percent; 47) and malignant lesions (1.66; 65 percent; 20.5) respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve values for strain ratio, hardness percentage and histogram were 0.88, 0.89, and 0.86 respectively for cut-off values of 1.2, 45, and 30. Conclusions: By percutaneous sonoelastography it is possible to differentiate benign versus malignant focal liver lesions, metastases in particular, with good diagnostic performance.