J Korean Soc Radiol.  2017 Mar;76(3):198-205. 10.3348/jksr.2017.76.3.198.

Intra- and Interobserver Reproducibility of Shear Wave Elastography for Evaluation of the Breast Lesions

  • 1Department of Radiology, Gil Hospital, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. hhkim@amc.seoul.kr


To evaluate reproducibility of shear wave elastography (SWE) for breast lesions within and between observers and compare the reproducibility of SWE features.
For intraobserver reproducibility, 225 masses with 208 patients were included; and two consecutive SWE images were acquired by each observer. For interobserver reproducibility, SWE images of the same mass were obtained by another observer before surgery in 40 patients. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to determine intra- and interobserver reproducibility.
Intraobserver reliability for mean elasticity (Emean) and maximum elasticity (Emax) were excellent (ICC = 0.803, 0.799). ICC for SWE ratio and minimum elasticity (Emin) were fair to good (ICC = 0.703, 0.539). Emean showed excellent ICC regardless of histopathologic type and tumor size. Emax, SWE ratio and Emin represented excellent or fair to good reproducibility based on histopathologic type and tumor size. In interobserver study, ICC for Emean, Emax and SWE ratio were excellent. Emean, Emax and SWE ratio represented excellent ICC irrespective of histopathologic type. ICC for Emean was excellent regardless of tumor size. SWE ratio and Emax showed fair to good interobserver reproducibility based on tumor size. Emin represented poor interobserver reliability.
Emean in SWE was highly reproducible within and between observers.

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms
Elasticity Imaging Techniques*


  • Fig. 1. Conventional US and elastographic images of invasive ductal carcinoma in a 49-year-old woman. A. Conventional US image shows an irregular hypoechoic lesion without circumscribed margin. B. Shear wave elastography images of quantification box (Q-BoxTM) applies on the stiffest part of mass. An additional Q-BoxTM is placed in the ad-jacent surrounding tissue. US = ultrasonography


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