JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Diagnostic Accuracy of Computer-Aided Assessment of Intranodal Vascularity in Distinguishing Different Causes of Cervical Lymphadenopathy.

Ultrasound is useful in assessing cervical lymphadenopathy. Advancement of computer science technology allows accurate and reliable assessment of medical images. The aim of the study described here was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of computer-aided assessment of the intranodal vascularity index (VI) in differentiating the various common causes of cervical lymphadenopathy. Power Doppler sonograms of 347 patients (155 with metastasis, 23 with lymphoma, 44 with tuberculous lymphadenitis, 125 reactive) with palpable cervical lymph nodes were reviewed. Ultrasound images of cervical nodes were evaluated, and the intranodal VI was quantified using a customized computer program. The diagnostic accuracy of using the intranodal VI to distinguish different disease groups was evaluated and compared. Metastatic and lymphomatous lymph nodes tend to be more vascular than tuberculous and reactive lymph nodes. The intranodal VI had the highest diagnostic accuracy in distinguishing metastatic and tuberculous nodes with a sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 73%, positive predictive value of 91%, negative predictive value of 51% and overall accuracy of 68% when a cutoff VI of 22% was used. Computer-aided assessment provides an objective and quantitative way to evaluate intranodal vascularity. The intranodal VI is a useful parameter in distinguishing certain causes of cervical lymphadenopathy and is particularly useful in differentiating metastatic and tuberculous lymph nodes. However, it has limited value in distinguishing lymphomatous nodes from metastatic and reactive nodes.

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