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April 1, 2021 — Dovepress



To identify and validate contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) features for differentiating malignant from benign splenic lesions.

Patients and Methods

Splenic lesions in 123 patients who underwent conventional ultrasound (B-mode US) and CEUS were included in this study. Two radiologists evaluated the sonograms of B-mode and CEUS. Statistical analysis was performed to identify significant imaging predictors for splenic malignant lesions. Two other radiologists independently reviewed B-mode and CEUS sonograms and diagnosed the lesions based on proposed criteria as 1) benign, 2) probably benign, 3) probably malignant or 4) malignant. The diagnostic efficiency between B-mode US and CEUS was compared.


Common imaging findings of malignant lesions included hypoechoic, ill-defined margin, absence of cystic/necrotic portion, presence of splenomegaly on B-mode US, and hypoenhancement, rapid washout and presence of intralesional vessels on CEUS (P < 0.05). Among them, three independent features were identified using multivariate logistic regression analysis: hypoechoic pattern, hypoenhancement pattern and intralesional vessels. When three of these findings were combined as a predictor for splenic malignant lesions, 22 (55.0%) of 40 malignant splenic lesions were identified with a specificity of 100%. The diagnostic performance of two readers using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was 0.622 and 0.533, respectively, for B-mode US, which was significantly improved to 0.908 and 0.906 for CEUS (P < 0.001). The degree of other diagnostic efficiency and inter-reader agreement also increased with CEUS compared to B-mode US.


CEUS may provide more useful information than B-mode US and improve the diagnosis efficiency for distinguishing malignant from benign splenic lesions.

Authors: Rui Yang, Qiang Lu, Jinshun Xu, Jiayan Huang, Binyang Gao, Huan Zhang, Jie Zhou, Lanxin Du, Feng Yan

West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

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