Differentiation of adenomyomatosis of the gallbladder from early-stage, wall-thickening-type gallbladder cancer using high-resolution ultrasound

Ijin Joo, Jae Young Lee, Jung Hoon Kim, Soo Jin Kim, Min A Kim, Joon Koo Han, Byung Ihn Choi
European Radiology 2013, 23 (3): 730-8

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of transabdominal high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) for differentiation of adenomyomatosis from early-stage, wall-thickening-type gallbladder (GB) cancer.

METHODS: HRUS was defined as the addition of high megahertz imaging to conventional low megahertz imaging with use of state-of-the-art imaging technology. HRUS findings were retrospectively compared in 45 patients with adenomyomatosis and 28 patients with stage T1/T2 wall-thickening-type GB cancer. For evaluating HRUS performance in the differential diagnosis of adenomyomatosis from GB cancer, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used with a five-point confidence scale independently scored by three blinded radiologists who also analysed morphological abnormalities.

RESULTS: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (A (z)) values of HRUS in the diagnosis of adenomyomatosis were 0.948, 0.915 and 0.917 for reviewers 1, 2 and 3. Symmetrical wall thickening, intramural cystic spaces, intramural echogenic foci and twinkling artefacts were significantly associated with adenomyomatosis (P < 0.05), whereas irregular thickening of the outer wall, focal innermost hyperechoic layer (IHL) discontinuity, IHL irregularity, IHL thickening greater than 1 mm, loss of multilayer pattern in the GB wall, and intralesional vascularity were significantly associated with cancer (P < 0.05). The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of intramural cystic spaces/echogenic foci for the diagnosis of adenomyomatosis were 80.0 %, 85.7 % and 82.2 %.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that HRUS can be helpful for distinguishing adenomyomatosis from early-stage, wall-thickening-type GB cancer.

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