Aims. The purpose of the study was to determine if the color quantitative analysis obtained on elastographic images of breast lesions could improve the benign-malignant differentiation, and also to identify some of the circumstances which would benefit most from such an analysis.

Patients and methods. The study design was a longitudinal prospective one, all data being acquired between May 2007 and September 2008. The US device used: Hitachi 8500 EUB machine with elastography option. For suspicious breast lesions histopathology was obtained by means of percutaneous biopsy or post-surgery. Studied color parameters (numeric values): average color (red, green, blue), color dispersion, average intensity, average hue, hue dispersion. Calculus modality: Image Processing Version 1.3, a program developed in collaboration with the Technical University of Cluj Napoca.

Results. Seventy-one (71) women were selected for the study. A hundred and six circumscribed breast lesions were detected by means of ultrasound in the studied group. Five color parameters were independently associated with the histological diagnosis (AvgBlue, AvgGreen and AvgRed; DispRed and DispIntensity) with AvgBlue parameter making the most important contribution (p<0.0001); the greater the values of AvgBlue (more than 92), the higher the chances of malignancy and the greater the values of AvgGreen (more than 88), the higher the chances for a benign lesion.

Conclusion. High numeric values for Avg Blue (more than 92) would increase the probability of malignancy and thus recommend a more aggressive diagnostic management (biopsy), while high numeric values for AvgGreen (more than 88) would reassure the examiner to proceed conservatively with short interval or routine follow-ups.




breast, ultrasound, elastography, color analysis