Purpose. This study analyzed the color and power Doppler signals in solid breast masses and assessed their value in differentiating malignant from benign lesions. Methods. One hundred twenty-nine biopsy-proven solid breast masses (54 malignant and 75 benign) were evaluated with color and/or power Doppler sonography using a 7-MHz linear-array transducer. We retrospectively analyzed the location, shape, and penetration of the Doppler vascular signals in the breast masses. The location of the vascular signals was categorized as central, peripheral, or both. The shape of the signals was categorized as linear, irregular, branching, or a single dot. A penetrating vessel was defined as a continuous vascular signal extending from outside the lesion to inside it. In 43 cases, power and color Doppler sonograms were compared. Results. Doppler features suggestive of malignant lesions were the presence of both peripheral and central vascularity (odds ratio, 6.0), presence of penetrating vessels (odds ratio, 5.4), and presence of branching vessels (odds ratio, 13.7). Power Doppler sonography was more sensitive than color Doppler sonography in detecting vascular signals in 49% of cases. Conclusions. Color (power) Doppler imaging is a valuable adjunct to conventional sonography in differentiating between malignant and benign breast lesions.
- Breast cancer
- Color Doppler ultrasonography
- Power Doppler ultrasonography