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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
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Comparison of diagnostic performance and confidence between contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan and non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography plus abdomen ultrasound for hepatic metastasis in patients with breast cancer


1 Department of Radiology, Gil Medical Center of Gachon University, Namdong-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Gil Medical Center of Gachon University, Namdong-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Surgery, Breast Cancer Center, Gil Medical Center of Gachon University, Namdong-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence Address:
Su Joa Ahn,
Department of Radiology and Gil Medical Center of Gachon University, 24 Namdong-daero, 774-beon-gil, Namdong-gu, Incheon
Republic of Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Background: The purpose of this study was to compare the performance between noncontrast-enhanced computed tomography (NECT) plus abdominal ultrasound (US) (NECT + US) with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) for the detection of hepatic metastasis in breast cancer patient with postsurgical follow-up. Methods: A total of 1470 patients without already diagnosed hepatic metastasis were included. All patients underwent US and multiphase CECT including the NECT. Independent reviewers analyzed images obtained in four settings, namely, abdominal US, NECT, NECT + US, and CECT and recorded liver metastases using a 5-grade scale of diagnostic confidence. Sensitivity, specificity (diagnostic performance), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC, diagnostic confidence) were calculated. Interoperator agreement was calculated using the kappa test. Results: Reference standards revealed no metastases in 1108/1470 patients, and metastasis was detected in 362/1470 patients. Abdominal US (P < 0.01) and NECT (P = 0.01) significantly differed from CECT, but NECT + US did not significantly differ from CECT in terms of sensitivity (P = 0.09), specificity (P = 0.5), and AUC (P = 0.43). After an additional review of abdominal US, readers changed the diagnostic confidence scores of 106 metastatic lesions diagnosed using NECT. Interobserver agreements were good or very good in all four settings. Additional review of abdominal US with NECT allowed a change in the therapeutic plan of 108 patients. Conclusion: Abdominal US + NECT showed better diagnostic performance for the detection of hepatic metastases than did NECT alone; its diagnostic performance and confidence were similar to those of CECT.


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