Korean J Radiol.  2020 Sep;21(9):1045-1054. 10.3348/kjr.2019.0765.

Combination of Quantitative Parameters of Shear WaveElastography and Superb Microvascular Imaging toEvaluate Breast Masses

  • 1Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Hospital Seoul, Seoul, Korea


This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic value of combining the quantitative parameters of shear waveelastography (SWE) and superb microvascular imaging (SMI) to breast ultrasound (US) to differentiate between benign andmalignant breast masses.
Materials and Methods
A total of 200 pathologically confirmed breast lesions in 192 patients were retrospectively reviewedusing breast US with B-mode imaging, SWE, and SMI. Breast masses were assessed based on the breast imaging reporting anddata system (BI-RADS) and quantitative parameters using the maximum elasticity (Emax) and ratio (Eratio) in SWE and thevascular index in SMI (SMIVI). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) value, sensitivity, specificity,accuracy, negative predictive value, and positive predictive value of B-mode alone versus the combination of B-mode US withSWE or SMI of both parameters in differentiating between benign and malignant breast masses was compared, respectively.Hypothetical performances of selective downgrading of BI-RADS category 4a (set 1) and both upgrading of category 3 anddowngrading of category 4a (set 2) were calculated.
Emax with a cutoff value of 86.45 kPa had the highest AUC value compared to Eratio of 3.57 or SMIVI of 3.35%. Inset 1, the combination of B-mode with Emax or SMIVI had a significantly higher AUC value (0.829 and 0.778, respectively)than B-mode alone (0.719) (p< 0.001 and p= 0.047, respectively). B-mode US with the addition of Emax, Eratio, and SMIVIhad the best diagnostic performance of AUC value (0.849). The accuracy and specificity increased significantly from 68.0%to 84.0% (p< 0.001) and from 46.1% to 79.1% (p< 0.001), respectively, and the sensitivity decreased from 97.6% to 90.6%without statistical loss (p= 0.199).
Combining all quantitative values of SWE and SMI with B-mode US improved the diagnostic performance indifferentiating between benign and malignant breast lesions.


Ultrasound; Shear wave elastography; Superb microvascular imaging; Breast; Neoplasm
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