Core needle biopsy of soft tissue tumors, CEUS vs US guided: a pilot study

Alessandro Coran, Antonio Di Maggio, Marco Rastrelli, Enrico Alberioli, Shady Attar, Paolo Ortolan, Carlo Bortolanza, Annalisa Tosi, Maria Cristina Montesco, Elisabetta Bezzon, Carlo Riccardo Rossi, Roberto Stramare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in the bioptic sampling of soft tissue tumors (STT) compared with unenhanced ultrasonography alone. Methods: This is a prospective longitudinal study of 40 patients subjected to ultrasonography (US)-guided core needle biopsy (CNB) to characterize a suspected STT. Three series of bioptic samplings were carried out on each patient, respectively using unenhanced US alone and CEUS in both the areas of the tumor enhanced or not by the contrast medium. All bioptic samples underwent a histological evaluation and the results were analyzed by comparing the histology of the biopsy with the definitive diagnosis in 15 surgically excised samples. Results: 27 (67.5 %) of the 40 patients completed the entire study procedure; in 19 cases (70.3 %) the three bioptic samplings gave unanimous results, also when compared to the surgical specimen; in seven cases (25.9 %) use of CEUS allowed to obtain additional or more accurate information about the mass in question, compared to simple US guidance without contrast; in one patient (3.7 %) sampling obtained using unenhanced ultrasonography guidance and in the areas enhanced by the contrast agent had precisely the same results of the surgical specimen. Conclusions: CEUS, due to its ability to evaluate microvascular areas, has proven to be a promising method in guiding bioptic sampling of soft tissue tumor, directing the needle to the most significant areas of the tumor. Given the small number of patients evaluated in our study, to achieve statistically significant results, it would be appropriate to obtain a larger sample size, since the very first results seem to be encouraging and to justify the increase of the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ultrasound
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Soft tissue tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Internal Medicine


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