Determination of Normal Breast and Areolar Skin Elasticity Using Shear Wave Elastography.

Sendur H. N. , Gultekin S., Salimli L., Cindil E., Cerit M. N. , Sendur A. B.

Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, vol.38, no.7, pp.1815-1822, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Objectives In this study, we aimed to determine reference values for normal breast and areolar skin elasticity using shear wave elastography. Methods The right breasts of 200 female participants were evaluated. The age, weight, body mass index, menopausal status, and parity number of all participants were noted. The elasticity values and thickness of the areolar skin and 4 quadrants of the breast skin of all participants were measured. To assess the reproducibility of shear wave elastography, a randomly selected subgroup of 35 participants was reevaluated by a second observer. Results The mean age of the participants +/- SD was 48.79 +/- 10.74 years (range, 18-79 years). The mean elasticity measurements for the superior, inferior, lateral, and medial regions of the breast and areolar skin were 33.54, 29.84, 30.16, 29.20, and 31.35 kPa, respectively. The mean of the 4-quadrant measurements of breast skin elasticity was 30.68 +/- 9.11 kPa. Age had a moderate negative correlation with breast skin elasticity (r = -0.353; P < .001) and a weak negative correlation with areolar skin elasticity (r = -0.237; P = .001). The parity number had weak negative correlations with breast (r = -0.150; P = .034) and areolar (r = -0.207; P < .001) skin elasticity. The interobserver agreement varied from good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.67-0.91) for the breast and areolar skin elasticity measurements. Conclusions Shear wave elastography is a reproducible imaging modality for evaluations of breast and areolar skin elasticity, and our results may provide important pilot data for evaluations of clinical entities that affect the breast and areolar skin structures.