Doppler ultrasound and strain elastography in the assessment of cutaneous melanoma: preliminary results

Carolina Botar Jid, Sorana D. Bolboacă, Rodica Cosgarea, Simona Şenilă, Liliana Rogojan, Manuela Lenghel, Dan Vasilescu, Sorin M. Dudea


Aim: To study the usefulness of color or power Doppler ultrasound (US) in the  pre-surgical evaluation of skin melanoma, and to correlate the Doppler characteristics with the appearance on high frequency ultrasound strain elastography (SE) in the preoperative evaluation of cutaneous melanoma. Materials and method: The study included 42 cutaneous melanoma lesions in 39 adult subjects examined between September 2011 and January 2015. Doppler US features (the presence and aspect of vascularization, and the number of vascular pedicles) and elasticity by strain elastography were evaluated together  with the pathological results. Results: The melanoma lesions presented hyper-vascularization, with multiple vascular pedicles and stiff appearance. Significant correlations between the thickness of the tumor, measured histopathologically by the Breslow index, and the degree of vascularization (p=0.0167), and number of vascular pedicles (p=0.0065) were identified. Strong correlations between the SE appearance and vascularization on one hand, and SE and the number of vascular pedicles were also identified (p<0.001). Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that Doppler US and SE offer useful information for THE preoperative evaluation of cutaneous melanoma and may contribute to better defining the long term prognosis. 


cutaneous melanoma; Doppler ultrasound; strain elastography; real time elastography

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