Diagnostic value of Virtual Touch Quantification (VTQ®) for differentiation of hemangiomas from malignant focal liver lesions

Giovanni Galati, Antonio De Vincentis, Paolo Gallo, Alessandro Guidi, Umberto Vespasiani-Gentilucci, Antonio Picardi


Aim: To evaluate the diagnostic value of Virtual Touch Quantification (VTQ®) for characterizing benign vs. malignant focal liver lesions (FLLs).

Material and methods: From January 2015 to January 2016 all consecutive FLLs visualized during a conventional abdominal ultrasound (US), underwent VTQ® evaluation, taking five measurements of both the lesion and the surrounding parenchyma.

Results: We studied 119 FLLs, consisting of 52 hemangiomas (HEs), 39 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), and 28 liver metastases (METs). HEs showed a significantly lower shear wave velocity (SWV) values compared to malignant FLLs (HEs SWV median value 1.34 m/sec, IQR 0.9; malignant lesions SWV median value 2.69 m/sec, IQR 1.6; p<0.001). Moreover, a nodule-to-parenchyma SWV ratio showed a significant difference in HEs and METs (p<0.001) but not in HCCs (p=0.03). SWV values were able to correctly differentiate malignant lesions with c-statistics of 0.82 (95 % CI 0.74- 0.90) and sensitivity of 74.6%/specificity of 80.7% at a cut-off of 2 m/sec.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that VTQ® is able to distinguish HEs from malignant lesions (HCCs and METs) at a SWV cut-off of 2 m/sec.


Virtual Touch Quantification; Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse; point shear wave elastography; hemangiomas; malignant focal liver lesions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-2062


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