Detecting nodal malignancy using sonography and sonoelastography

12 August 2019 – News

In oncology, identifying lymph node malignancy is crucial to tumour-staging and to defining a therapeutic plan and prognosis. FNA cytology and biopsy are commonly used to obtain samples to characterize tumours – but they are invasive and can be expensive.

Studies in veterinary medicine to characterize nodal malignancy with B-mode sonography have been controversial so, for this study, the authors focused on comparing the results obtained by B-mode with those from Doppler. They also studied the elasticity stiffness scores between benign and malignant superficial lymph nodes in dogs in order to establish more reliable differentiation criteria.

116 lymph nodes were analyzed and submitted to cytology and histology. Those considered malignant, mainly lymphomas, showed larger long and short axes and higher resistivity and plasticity indexes. Hilar flow was more prevalent in benign nodes and the elasticity score was lower than in malignant structures.

These findings support the value of non-invasive screening diagnostic tools, particularly sonography (with and without Doppler) and sonoelastography. In fact, axis and resistivity indexes, together with elasticity stiffness scoring, are directly correlated with higher diagnostic accuracy when cancer is suspected.

Belotta AF, Gomes MC, Rocha NS, et al. Sonography and sonoelastography in the detection of malignancy in superficial lymph nodes of dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2019;1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15469