Objectives: There is currently no widely available, minimally invasive first-level examination that allows physicians to identify soft-tissue lesions that are likely to be malignant. The aim of this pilot study was to explore the potential suitability of dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) for this purpose. Materials and methods: 23 patients were referred to the Veneto Oncological Institute for work-up of superficial soft-tissue lesions. Fourteen lesions were examined with CEUS and enhancement kinetics was analyzed. Subsequently, all lesions were surgically removed and subjected to histological analysis. Results: The 14 lesions included in the study were histologically classified as malignant (n = 7) or benign (n = 7, including 3 schwannomas). A statistically significant difference between benign and malignant lesions was found in terms of mean times to peak enhancement intensity (p = 0. 03) but not mean filling times (FT). When schwannomas were analyzed as a separate group, their mean FT was found to be significantly different from that of the other benign lesions (p = 0. 001) and from that of the group comprising other benign lesions as well as malignant lesions (p <0. 005). Conclusions: CEUS with analysis of contrast-enhancement kinetics is a relatively low-cost, minimally invasive imaging technique, which appears to be a potentially effective first-level method for identifying suspicious soft-tissue masses.
- Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
- Soft tissue tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Internal Medicine