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May 26, 2021 — Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology


This study investigated the usefulness of conventional ultrasound (US) and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in distinguishing metastasis of pelvic sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients with gynecological cancer. We examined 74 SLNs of patients with endometrial cancer (n = 26) and cervical cancer (n = 11). Patients underwent US and CEUS followed by SLN biopsy; US and CEUS results were evaluated visually and quantitatively and compared between pathological metastasis-negative and -positive groups. To support CEUS results, the microvessel density of SLNs was evaluated immunohistochemically. Seventeen positive and 40 negative SLNs were evaluable. Margin and enhancement patterns by visual assessment revealed significant differences (p = 0.046 and 0.022, respectively). In quantitative time–intensity curve analyses, the weakest peak intensities (PImin), PI ratio and PI difference indicated significant differences (p = 0.045, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) were 0.64, 0.82 and 0.83, respectively. The most effective PI ratio from the AUC was 1.3 (sensitivity = 82%, specificity = 70%), and the PI difference from the AUC was 20 (sensitivity = 88%, specificity = 70%). Microvessel density was significantly lower in metastatic lesions than in other areas. The quantitative analysis of CEUS seemed to be a reasonable method for distinguishing lymph node metastasis in patients with gynecological cancer.

Authors: Asami Toki*; Hitoshi Niikura*; Naoko Mori†; Shogo Shigeta*; Tomoyuki Nagai*; Hideki Tokunaga*; Muneaki Shimada*; Nobuo Yaegashi*

⁎ Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

† Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

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