Breast Imaging - Original Article

Use of shear wave elastography to differentiate benign and malignant breast lesions


  • Deniz Çebi Olgun
  • Bora Korkmazer
  • Fahrettin Kılıç
  • Atilla Süleyman Dikici
  • Mehmet Velidedeoğlu
  • Fatih Aydoğan
  • Fatih Kantarcı
  • Mehmet Halit Yılmaz

Received Date: 15.07.2013 Accepted Date: 27.10.2013 Diagn Interv Radiol 2014;20(3):239-244


We aimed to determine the correlations between the elasticity values of solid breast masses and histopathological findings to define cutoff elasticity values differentiating malignant from benign lesions.


A total of 115 solid breast lesions of 109 consecutive patients were evaluated prospectively using shear wave elastography (SWE). Two orthogonal elastographic images of each lesion were obtained. Minimum, mean, and maximum elasticity values were calculated in regions of interest placed over the stiffest areas on the two images; we also calculated mass/fat elasticity ratios. Correlation of elastographic measurements with histopathological results were studied.


Eighty-three benign and thirty-two malignant lesions were histopathologically diagnosed. The minimum, mean, and maximum elasticity values, and the mass/fat elasticity ratios of malignant lesions, were significantly higher than those of benign lesions. The cutoff value was 45.7 kPa for mean elasticity (sensitivity, 96%; specificity, 95%), 54.3 kPa for maximum elasticity (sensitivity, 95%; specificity, 94%), 37.1 kPa for minimum elasticity (sensitivity, 96%; specificity, 95%), and 4.6 for the mass/fat elasticity ratio (sensitivity, 97%; specificity, 95%).


SWE yields additional valuable quantitative data to ultrasonographic examination on solid breast lesions. SWE may serve as a complementary tool for diagnosis of breast lesions. Long-term clinical studies are required to accurately select lesions requiring biopsy.