SEATTLE, WashingtonCompound ultrasound imaging improves the
evaluation of solid breast nodules and the retroareolar region of the breast,
according to two studies from University Health Network, Mt. Sinai Hospital,
Toronto, Canada. The studies were reported at the 101st Annual Meeting of the
American Roentgen Ray Society.
Images From Various Angles
"In conventional ultrasound, each scan line hits the target object in a
single scan plane," said Supriya Kulkarni, MD, a fellow at Mt. Sinai
Hospital. "Real-time compound imaging utilizes multiple coplanar
tomographic images obtained from various angles to produce a single compound
image." The net result is a marked reduction of acoustic artifact and
noise, she said.
In the first study (abstract 16), compound imaging with the SonoCT scanner
system (ATL Ultrasound, Bothwell, Washington) was compared with conventional
(fundamental) ultrasound imaging for the evaluation of solid breast nodules.
The study included 163 image pairs from 51 consecutive patients referred for
routine breast sonography; each pair consisted of a conventional image and a
compound image obtained with identical projection and compression, Dr. Kulkarni
Two blinded reviewers with no previous experience with compound imaging
graded the features of each image individually and classified the nodules as
benign, malignant, or indeterminate; these classifications were subsequently
correlated with pathologic findings. Each image pair was also assessed side by
side in a preference study.
"Compound imaging significantly reduced posterior artifact, both
shadowing and enhancement, and improved visualization of retrolesional
tissue," Dr. Kulkarni said. Shape, echodensity, echotexture, and
homogeneity did not change with compound imaging, she added. In 58% of cases,
the reviewers felt that the compound image permitted better overall evaluation
of the nodules.