Reliability of sonoelastography in predicting pediatric cervical lymph node malignancy
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Controversy exists as regards the best non-invasive diagnostic tool for pediatric cervical lymphadenopathy. The current work aimed to evaluate the reliability, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of sonoelastography in diagnosing benign and/or malignant pediatric cervical lymphadenopathy.
Prospective study took place over a period of 4 years from January 2013 to December 2016. A total of 177 lymph nodes (LNs) in 128 children with an age ranging from 11 months to 12 years were recruited in this study. Patients were 77 males and 51 females with a ratio of 3:2. All patients underwent a thorough history taking and clinical examination of the neck focusing on the cervical lymph nodes. After that, a B-mode sonography, Color Doppler ultrasound, and Sonoelastography were performed. Elastographic patterns of 1–5 were evaluated, whereas patterns of 3–5 (firm to hard) were suspected to have a malignant nature. Sonographic-guided aspiration cytology took place in 107 lymph nodes and excisional biopsy in 102 lymph nodes, whereas 13 lymph nodes responded adequately to conservative treatment. They proved to be benign reactive hyperplasia.
The majority of LNs (87%) were of the malignant type that showed an elastographic pattern of 3–5. The same patterns were observed in only 6 (3.4%) of the benign LNs. Sonoelastography showed a sensitivity of 85.9%, specificity of 100%, PPV of 100%, NPV of 75.96%, and overall accuracy of 90.23% in distinguishing benign from malignant lymph nodes. Using the B-Mode ultrasound, an abnormal hilum was seen in 75%. The accuracy of color Doppler US reached 82.7%.
Sonoelastography may be superior to other US modalities in elucidating different cervical lymph node biopsy helping to distinguish benign from malignant lesions. This may replace the lymph node biopsies in the future. Moreover, its use in the follow-up of patients with cervical malignancies may reduce the number of future biopsies. Further studies with more patients may be needed for a better assessment of results.
KeywordsSonoelastography Lymph node Malignancy FNAC Lymphoma
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.
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