Value of the strain ratio on ultrasonic elastography for differentiation of benign and malignant soft tissue tumors

Seok Hahn, Young Han Lee, Seung Hyun Lee, Jin Suck Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives-The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the strain ratio provides additional value to conventional visual elasticity scores in the differentiation of benign and malignant soft tissue tumors by ultrasonic elastography. Methods-The Institutional Review Board approved the protocol of this retrospective review. Seventy-three patients who underwent elastography and had a soft tissue mass pathologically confirmed by ultrasound-guided core biopsy or surgical excision were enrolled from April 2012 through October 2014. On elastography, elasticity scores were determined with a 5-point visual scale, and the strain ratio to adjacent soft tissue at the same depth was calculated. Tumors were divided into benign and malignant groups according to the pathologic diagnoses. Elasticity scores and strain ratios were compared between benign and malignant groups, and diagnostic performance was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic curves. Results-Of the 73 patients, 40 had benign tumors, and 33 had malignant tumors. Strain ratios (P =.003) and elasticity scores (P =.048) were significantly different between pathologic results. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.700 (95% confidence interval, 0.581-0.802) for the strain ratio and 0.623 (95% confidence interval, 0.515-0.746) for elastography. Conclusions-The strain ratios of malignant soft tissue tumors were lower than those of benign tumors and showed better diagnostic performance than did elasticity scores. The strain ratio can be used as a diagnostic indicator to predict the malignant potential of soft tissue tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (grant NRF-2012R1A1A2042165).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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