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May 21, 2021 – European Journal of Radiology



This study aimed to evaluate the imaging features of papillary breast lesions detected using conventional ultrasonography (US) and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and to correlate the pathological results. Furthermore, the diagnostic efficiencies of these imaging features to predict the malignancy potential of papillary lesions were explored.


The findings of the conventional US and CEUS of 74 consecutive papillary breast lesions were assessed retrospectively. The obtained data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regressions to evaluate the ability of each parameter and combined parameters in distinguishing the benign and atypical or malignant papillary lesions.


Among the imaging features of breast papillary lesions on conventional US and CEUS, two sonographic features (lesion size ≥1 cm and not circumscribed margin) on conventional US and four enhancement features (irregular enhancement, heterogeneous enhancement, enlargement of scope, and perfusion defect) on CEUS were found to be significantly different between the benign and atypical or malignant papillary lesions (P < 0.05). A multivariate logistic regression analysis further showed that only heterogeneous enhancement and enlarged enhancement scope were associated with malignancy. The sensitivity and specificity of heterogeneous enhancement, enlarged enhancement scope, and combined analysis for predicting atypical and malignant papillary lesions were 78.6% and 39.1%, 75% and 37%, and 75% and 82.6%, respectively. The combination of enhancement homogeneity and enhancement scope improved the diagnostic accuracy (AUC = 0.875).


The results suggested that the imaging features on conventional US and CEUS could help in identifying benign and malignant papillary lesions and predict their malignancy potential.

Authors: Rui-Lan Niu, Shi-Yu Li, Bo Wang, Ying Jiang, Gang Liu, Zhi-Li Wang

Department of Ultrasound, the First Medical Center, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China

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