Ultrasound scoring for assessment of soft tissue masses

Richard Simon Davies, Dr Tishi Ninan, Dr Suresh Dalavaye, Dr Luqman Wali, Dr Fahad Zaman, Department of Radiology Morriston Hospital

Ultrasound scans are frequently used in the initial assessment of suspected soft tissue masses, with underlying concern that the mass may be malignant.  This study aimed to develop an ultrasound based scoring system to identify the benign lesions so as to expedite assessment and subsequent treatment.

The British Sarcoma Group guidelines give a number of criteria for assessing whether a lesion should be considered suspicious and these were adapted with ultrasound findings to give a scoring system, each being scored as 0 if negative or 1 for positive, and a total score assigned

Our audit of more than 200 patients showed that majority of patients (~90%) referred for assessments of soft tissue lesions have a score of 0 or 1.  Less than 7 % of patients scored 3 or more.

The advantage of using this scoring system is that it makes early assessment of lesions relatively straightforward for non-specialised radiologists and sonographers. This means there is easier and quicker triage of patients helping to easily identify lesions that do not need further imaging and specialist input. It also helps to make the services of specialised radiologists quickly available to patients who need specialist assessment and treatment.

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