By detecting higher blood flow, noninvasive three- dimensional (3-D) power Doppler ultrasound proved highly reliable for distinguishing between benign and malignant tumors, according to new research. Malignant tumors are associated with higher blood flow rates. In addition, using 3-D scans provides greater accuracy because it allows more consistent sampling over the entire tumor.
The study involved 78 women (average age, 49 years) scheduled for breast biopsy. The Doppler ultrasound correctly identified 100% of tumors later found to be malignant after biopsy. It also had a specificity of 86% in excluding benign tumors.
Source: LeCarpentie GL, Roubidoux, MA, Fowlkes JB, et al. Suspicious breast lesions: assessment of 3D Doppler US indexes for classification in a test population and fourfold cross-validation scheme. Radiology. 2008;249:463-470.