OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study was to evaluate diagnostic parameters to differentiate between benign versus malignant ovarian masses using contrast-enhanced transvaginal sonography (TVS).
METHODS - Thirty-three consecutive patients with 36 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 TVS. The following parameters were assessed: presence of contrast enhancement, time to peak enhancement, peak contrast enhancement, half wash-out time, and area under the enhancement curve (AUC). Tumor histologic analysis was used to distinguish benign from malignant ovarian tumors.
RESULTS - Twenty-six benign masses and 10 malignancies were studied. Of all examined criteria, an AUC of greater than 787 seconds(-1) was the most accurate diagnostic criterion for ovarian cancer, with 100.0% sensitivity and 96.2% specificity. Additionally, peak contrast enhancement of greater than 17.2 dB (90.0% sensitivity and 98.3% specificity) and half wash-out time of greater than 41.0 seconds (100.0% sensitivity and 92.3% specificity) proved to be useful.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data suggest that the AUC, peak enhancement, and half wash-out time had the greatest diagnostic accuracy for contrast-enhanced TVS in differentiation between benign and malignant ovarian masses.