Evaluation of Ovarian Vascularity in Children by Using the “Superb Microvascular Imaging” Ultrasound Technique in Comparison With Conventional Doppler Ultrasound Techniques
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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the novel "superb microvascular imaging" (SMI) Doppler ultrasound technique to detect ovarian vascularity in healthy children and to compare it with the conventional Doppler ultrasound techniques. METHODS: This prospective study included 140 girls, aged 3 to 18 years, for which an abdominal ultrasound study was requested in the pediatrics outpatient clinics for suspicion of nonovarian pathologies. Nineteen individuals were excluded from the study due to incomplete ultrasound scanning. For the remaining 121 cases, gray scale ultrasound evaluation was performed followed by color Doppler imaging, power Doppler imaging, advanced dynamic flow, color SMI, and monochrome SMI to detect the presence and degree of vascularity in the ovaries. Ultrasound scanning was performed for all participants by the same doctor by using curvilinear probe via the suprapubic approach, and the images were independently evaluated by 3 different observers. The images were assessed with regard to the degree of vascularity and the presence of artifacts. RESULTS: A total of 146 ovaries (42 right, 54 left, and 25 bilateral) were examined by sonography. The mean interrater agreement regarding the detection of vascularity was moderate for the color Doppler imaging, power Doppler imaging, advanced dynamic flow, and monochrome SMI techniques (κ = 0.514-0.551) and substantial for the color SMI technique (κ = 0.636) (P < .001). The techniques were found to be statistically significant for detecting vascularity: monochrome SMI > color SMI > power Doppler imaging > color Doppler imaging > advanced dynamic flow (P < .001). CONCLUSION: SMI is a promising tool that can detect ovarian vascularity more effectively than the conventional Doppler ultrasound techniques.
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