By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 5, 2013

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Shear-wave elastography is a predictor of lymph node metastasis in women with invasive breast cancer, according to researchers from the U.K.'s University of Dundee.

Dr. Sarah Vinnicombe and colleagues included 396 patients with invasive breast cancer who had been treated with surgery and had also undergone shear-wave elastography at the time of diagnosis. Vinnicombe's group took mean stiffness values from regions of interest they had identified as the stiffest part of the abnormality. In breast cancer, higher lesion stiffness has been linked with poorer prognoses.

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found that invasive size, histological grade, HER-2 status, vascular invasion, tumor type, and mean stiffness were significantly associated with lymph node involvement, leading them to conclude that high tumor stiffness at shear-wave elastography increases the risk of lymph node metastasis in women with invasive breast cancer.