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Diagnostic and prognostic values of contrast-enhanced ultrasound in breast cancer: a retrospective study

Authors Zhao YX, Liu S, Hu YB, Ge YY, Lv DM

Received 7 October 2016

Accepted for publication 17 December 2016

Published 22 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1123—1129


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Manfred Beleut

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Samir Farghaly

Yi-Xuan Zhao, Shuang Liu, Yan-Bing Hu, Yan-Yan Ge, Dong-Mei Lv

Department of Ultrasound, Second Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: This study aimed to explore the diagnostic and prognostic values of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in breast cancer. Between September 2009 and October 2011, a total of 143 breast cancer patients and 161 healthy people were selected as case group and control group, respectively. After the identification of lesions by conventional ultrasound, all patients underwent CEUS. The CEUS images were analyzed, and time–intensity curves (TICs) were obtained. Hematoxylin–eosin and immunohistochemistry staining was performed on tissue specimens, according to which the expressions of estrogen receptor (ER), c-erb-B2, p53, and Ki-67 were measured. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to compare CEUS and TIC parameters between the two groups. Compared with the control group, cancer patients showed high enhancement, heterogeneous enhancement or defects in the central region, expansion of lesion diameter after enhancement and crab-like blur lesion edges. The peak intensity (PI), relative start time of enhancement, relative PI, and relative area under the curve in the case group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Logistic analysis showed that the uniformity of enhancement, expansion of lesion diameter, and relative PI were significant diagnostic parameters of breast cancer, with area under the curve being 0.798, 0.776, and 0.919, respectively. There were strong associations between CEUS characteristics and expressions of prognostic factors in breast cancer: the heterogeneous enhancement was common in c-erb-B2-positive tumors; the centripetal enhancement occurred more in ER-negative tumors; perforator vessels were often seen in tumors at high histological grade; perfusion defects were common in ER-negative, c-erb-B2-positive, and Ki-67-positive tumors. CEUS is a useful tool for the early diagnosis and prognosis of breast cancer.

Keywords: contrast-enhanced ultrasound, breast cancer, diagnosis, prognosis

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