OBJECTIVE - The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate differences in contrast enhancement and contrast enhancement kinetics in benign versus malignant ovarian masses with pulse inversion harmonic transvaginal sonography.
METHODS - Seventeen consecutive patients with 23 morphologically abnormal ovarian masses (solid or cystic with papillary excrescences, focally thickened walls, or irregular solid areas) smaller than 10 cm received a microbubble contrast agent intravenously while undergoing pulse inversion harmonic transvaginal sonography. The following parameters were assessed in all tumors: detectable contrast enhancement, time to peak enhancement (wash-in), peak contrast enhancement, half wash-out time, and area under the enhancement curve. Tumor histologic analysis was used to distinguish benign from malignant ovarian tumors.
RESULTS - Fourteen benign masses and 9 malignancies were studied. There was a statistically significant difference in the peak enhancement (mean +/- SD, 23.3 +/- 2.8 versus 12.3 +/- 3.9 dB; P < .01), half wash-out time (139.9 +/- 43.6 versus 46.3 +/- 19.7 seconds; P < .01), and area under the enhancement curve (2012.9 +/- 532.9 versus 523.9 +/- 318 seconds(-1); P < .01) in malignant masses compared with benign disease. There was no statistically significant difference in the time to peak enhancement (26.1 +/- 6.3 versus 24.9 +/- 7.6 seconds; P = .07).
CONCLUSIONS - Overall, our data showed a significant difference in the contrast enhancement kinetic parameters between benign and malignant ovarian masses.