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Zengel, Pamela; Notter, Florian; Clevert, Dirk A. (2018): Does acoustic radiation force elastography improve the diagnostic capability of ultrasound in the preoperative characterization of masses of the parotid gland? In: Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Vol. 47, No. 7, 20180068
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Objectives: Ultrasound is the method of choice for preoperative evaluation of tumours of the parotid glands. However, existing methods do not allow for clear differentiation between the most common benign tumours and malignant tumours. The aim of our study was to evaluate if acoustic radiation force, Virtual Touch Quantification (VTQ) elastography helps to improve the preoperative evaluation of parotid masses. Methods: We investigated the parenchyma of 102 parotid glands, 14 lymph nodes of healthy volunteers and 51 tumours of the parotid gland via ultrasound, colour Doppler ultrasound and VTQ. The results were matched with histopathology and analyzed. Results: The perfusion in pleomorphic adenoma, the most frequent benign tumour of the parotid gland, was significantly lower in comparison to malignant tumours. All tumours showed statistically significant higher perfusion in comparison to the parenchyma or the lymph nodes of the gland. Shear wave velocity of the user-defined region of interest was statistically significant more frequently an overflow value higher than 8.5 m/s in total tumours in comparison to parenchyma or lymph nodes. The different tumour types presented no significant difference in the shear wave velocity. Conclusions: VTQ in combination with classical ultrasound examination provides additional data useful in distinguishing between benign and malignant tumours and thus shows promise for integration into preexisting ultrasound protocols. However, despite the improvement, clear differentiation of tumours is still not possible and further investigation is recommended.