Ultrasound high-definition microvasculature imaging with novel quantitative biomarkers improves breast cancer detection accuracy

Redouane Ternifi, Yinong Wang, Juanjuan Gu, Eric C. Polley, Jodi M. Carter, Sandhya Pruthi, Judy C. Boughey, Robert T. Fazzio, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To overcome the limitations of power Doppler in imaging angiogenesis, we sought to develop and investigate new quantitative biomarkers of a contrast-free ultrasound microvasculature imaging technique for differentiation of benign from malignant pathologies of breast lesion. Methods: In this prospective study, a new high-definition microvasculature imaging (HDMI) was tested on 521 patients with 527 ultrasound-identified suspicious breast masses indicated for biopsy. Four new morphological features of tumor microvessels, microvessel fractal dimension (mvFD), Murray’s deviation (MD), bifurcation angle (BA), and spatial vascularity pattern (SVP) as well as initial biomarkers were extracted and analyzed, and the results correlated with pathology. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to study the performance of different prediction models, initial biomarkers, new biomarkers, and combined new and initial biomarkers in differentiating benign from malignant lesions. Results: The new HDMI biomarkers, mvFD, BA, MD, and SVP, were statistically significantly different in malignant and benign lesions, regardless of tumor size. Sensitivity and specificity of the new biomarkers in lesions > 20 mm were 95.6% and 100%, respectively. Combining the new and initial biomarkers together showed an AUC, sensitivity, and specificity of 97% (95% CI: 95–98%), 93.8%, and 89.2%, respectively, for all lesions regardless of mass size. The classification was further improved by adding the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) score to the prediction model, showing an AUC, sensitivity, and specificity of 97% (95% CI: 95–98%), 93.8%, and 89.2%, respectively. Conclusion: The addition of new quantitative HDMI biomarkers significantly improved the accuracy in breast lesion characterization when used as a complementary imaging tool to the conventional ultrasound. Key Points: • Novel quantitative biomarkers extracted from tumor microvessel images increase the sensitivity and specificity in discriminating malignant from benign breast masses. • New HDMI biomarkers Murray’s deviation, bifurcation angles, microvessel fractal dimension, and spatial vascularity pattern outperformed the initial biomarkers. • The addition of BI-RADS scores based on US descriptors to the multivariable analysis using all biomarkers remarkably increased the sensitivity, specificity, and AUC in all size groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Contrast-agent-free method
  • Neovascularization
  • Quantitative biomarkers
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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