Ultrasound elastography is shown to raise sensitivity by 24 percent for preoperative assessment of axillary metastases in suspected breast cancer. Meanwhile, microbubbles identify sentinel lymph nodes, minimizing operations, according to researchers presenting at ECR 2011.
Dr. Ellen Mendelson is a co-author on a paper exploring the use of shear wave elastography to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions. In an interview with Diagnostic Imaging, she explains what shear wave elastography is and why it could become a standard element of breast imaging.
Radiation safety standards are becoming increasingly stringent. Ultrasound systems, however, present no such safety threats, and manufacturers are trying to enhance the versatility of these devices, both in primary and secondary diagnosis. Elastography and therapeutic and contrast-enhanced ultrasound are poised to herald new and more effective means of diagnosis.
Reducing the number of breast biopsies by better classifying suspicious lesions noninvasively could improve healthcare and cut healthcare costs, laudable goals in the current era of healthcare—and economic—reform.