What is the role of ultrasonography (US) in distinguishing benign masses from malignant masses?

Updated: Feb 01, 2017
  • Author: Paul R Fisher, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Originally, ultrasonography was primarily used to distinguish simple cysts, which did not require sampling, from solid masses that were usually examined with biopsy. In many cases, the results of these biopsies were benign. Improving equipment and scanning techniques have helped expand the applications of breast US. Linear-array high-frequency (7.5 MHz or higher center frequency) transducers are generally used.

Recent innovations include electronically steered compound imaging and tissue harmonic imaging. Contrast-enhanced Doppler US and 3-dimensional imaging are experimental techniques that are under investigation. [44, 45, 46, 47]


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