Can Ultrasound Elastography Discriminate between Rectal Adenoma and Cancer? A Systematic Review

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Background: Rectal cancer is a common malignancy. Since the introduction of bowel-screening programs, the number of patients with advanced adenomas and early rectal cancer has increased. Despite improved diagnostics, the discrimination between rectal adenomas and early rectal cancer (i.e., pT1–T2) remains challenging. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of endorectal ultrasound (ERUS) elastography in discriminating rectal adenomas from cancer. Method: Using PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search was performed on PubMed, Embase, and MEDLINE databases. Studies evaluating the primary staging of rectal adenomas and cancer using ERUS elastography were included. Results: Six studies were identified; three evaluated the discrimination between adenomas and cancer; two evaluated adenomas and early rectal cancer (i.e., pT1–T2); one evaluated performance on different T categories. All studies reported increased diagnostic accuracy of ERUS elastography compared to ERUS. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy ranged 0.93–1.00, 0.83–1.00 and 0.91–1.00, respectively, when discriminating adenomas from cancer. In the differentiation between adenomas and early rectal cancer, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 0.82–1.00, 0.86–1.00 and 0.84–1.00, respectively. Conclusion: Elastography increases the accuracy of ERUS and may provide valuable information on malignant transformation of rectal lesions
Original languageEnglish
Article number4158
Issue number16
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 18. Aug 2021


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