Three-dimensional power doppler ultrasound improves the diagnostic accuracy for ovarian cancer prediction

Leeber S Cohen, Pedro F. Escobar, Carol Scharm, Beth Glimco, David A. Fishman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Objective. The goal of this study was to determine if three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound improves the specificity for ovarian cancer detection as compared with two-dimensional ultrasound. Methods. Seventy-one women with a known complex pelvic mass were referred for a preoperative ultrasound evaluation with both two-dimensional and three-dimensional gray-scale ultrasonography. The 3D studies were performed with the Kretz Voluson 530D using a mechanized transvaginal probe, Surface rendering and power Doppler imaging were performed by the same gynecologic sonologist, and reassigned to one of four echo patterns: cystic, multicystic, complex, or solid. Sonographic criteria used for diagnosing ovarian cancer were based on a system that included morphological characteristics, histological prediction, and power Doppler imaging. Results. Seventy-one women underwent surgical exploration: 14 (19.7%) had ovarian cancer (2 FIGO stage I, 2 stage II, 7 stage III, and 3 metastatic colon) and 2 had uterine cancer. Two-dimensional gray-scale ultrasound identified 40 masses as suspicious for cancer, including all 14 malignancies, yielding a sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of 100, 54, and 35%, respectively. However, evaluation with 3D power Doppler identified only 28 cases as suspicious (including all 14 cancers), resulting in a sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of 100, 75, and 50%, respectively. Conclusions. Three-dimensional power Doppler imaging better defines the morphological and vascular characteristics of ovarian lesions. All malignancies were correctly identified by both 2D and 3D imaging; however, the specificity significantly improved with the addition of 3D power Doppler. This improved diagnostic accuracy may promote improved patient care by separating complex benign masses from ovarian cancer, therefore facilitating appropriate physician referral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Adnexal mass
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Three-dimensional power Doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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