Breast elastography allows physicians to give a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study performed at Singapore General Hospital in Singapore. Breast elastography is a new technique which looks at the mechanical properties of tissues (relative stiffness) as opposed to conventional ultrasound which looks at the backscatter of transmitted ultrasound waves through tissues.
Ninety-nine women with 110 sonographically visible lesions were evaluated with ultrasound, elastography and combined ultrasound and elastography. 26 lesions were malignant and 84 were benign on histology. "All breast cancers (100%) in the study were diagnosed correctly by elastography alone compared to 88.5% by conventional ultrasound," said Llewellyn Sim, MD, lead author of the study. "The use of breast elastography alone or combined with ultrasound provides a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer," said Dr. Sim.
"Breast elastography improves the sonographic diagnosis of breast cancer. It also potentially reduces unnecessary work-up i.e. biopsies of benign breast lesions and patient anxiety," he said.
"Breast radiologists will see elastography in a different light when they realize that it has come of age and outperforms conventional breast ultrasound. With the sterling results and knowledge gained from my study, I am more confident in using elastography to assist me in obtaining a more accurate diagnosis of breast lesions detected with ultrasound in my daily clinical practice," said Dr. Sim.