A Comparison of Shear Wave Elastography between Normal Myometrium, Uterine Fibroids, and Adenomyosis: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Panyananthaphikkhu Chonprathan Medical Centre, Srinakharinwirot University, Nontaburi, Thailand

2 Foetal and Maternal Medicine Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

3 Division of Diagnostic Radiology, Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic, Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

4 Office of Research Academic and Innovation, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

5 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

6 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

7 Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathidodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand


Background: The differential diagnosis between uterine fibroid and adenomyosis is sometimes difficult; a precise diagnosis is required in women with infertility because of the different choice of treatments. Ultrasound elastography (UE) is a novel technique to evaluate the elasticity or the stiffness of the tissue of interest. The present study aims to compare UE shear wave velocity (SWV) among normal uterine myometrium, uterine fibroid, and adenomyosis, and assess the accuracy of shear wave elastography in the diagnosis of adenomyosis.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 25 subjects for each group (control, adenomyosis, and fibroid) from April 2019 to April 2020. Transvaginal UE using an Aplio 500 (Toshiba Medical Systems, Japan) with ultrasound mapping for point of tissue biopsy was performed for all subjects. The diagnosis was confirmed by histology. Masson’s trichrome staining for collagen was performed and quantified.
Results: The mean ± standard deviation (SD) for SWV was 3.44 ± 0.95 m/seconds (control group), 4.63 ± 1.45 m/seconds (adenomyosis group), and 4.53 ± 1.07 m/seconds (fibroid group). The mean SWV differed when comparing normal myometrium and adenomyosis after adjustments for age and endometrial pathology (P=0.019). The cut-off point of SWV at 3.465 m/seconds could differentiate adenomyosis from the normal uterus with an 80% sensitivity, 80% specificity, and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68-0.93) (P<0.001). No significant difference in SWV between the adenomyosis and fibroid groups was detected.
Conclusion: Shear wave elastography could be an alternative tool to distinguish between normal myometrium and adenomyosis; however, it could not differentiate adenomyosis from uterine fibroid or uterine fibroid from normal myometrium.


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