Identification of implanted mesh after incisional hernia repair using an automated breast volume scanner

Jun Wu, Yuanyuan Wang, Jinhua Yu, Yue Chen, Yun Pang, Xuehong Diao, Zhiying Qiu
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 2015, 34 (6): 1071-81

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the utility of an automated breast volume scanner (ABVS) versus handheld ultrasound (US) for identifying implanted mesh after incisional hernia repair.

METHODS: In vitro, the appearances of 3 samples of different flat mesh and a mesh plug on both ABVS and handheld US examinations were evaluated. In vivo, 97 patients received both ABVS and handheld US examinations in the incisional region. The frequency used for handheld US was 11 MHz. The presence of the previously implanted mesh in the incisional region was evaluated and compared between the US modalities. The identified results were confirmed by surgical findings.

RESULTS: In the in vitro study, the ABVS had more visualized and efficient imaging results for implanted mesh than handheld US. In the in vivo study, among 97 cases, 39 and 32 were identified as regions with mesh by the ABVS and handheld US, respectively. The ABVS had better identification performance than handheld US in terms of accuracy (94.8% versus 83.5%), sensitivity (90.5% versus 69.0%), and specificity (98.2% versus 94.5%). The κ values showed that handheld US had substantial agreement with surgical findings (κ = 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.66-0.90), whereas the ABVS had almost perfect agreement with surgical findings (κ = 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-1.00). More importantly, the ABVS could display the texture of lightweight mesh in the coronal plane. The specificity and sensitivity for mesh texture were 100.0% (55 of 55) and 94.4% (17 of 18), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of an ABVS may help identify the presence of implanted mesh after incisional hernia repair in some cases in which the implant is difficult to appreciate on handheld US imaging with an 11-MHz transducer.

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