ObjectiveTo evaluate the contribution of three-dimensional (3D) power Doppler angiography (3D-PDA) to the differential diagnosis of adnexal masses.
MethodsThis was a prospective study in women diagnosed with a persistent adnexal mass and subsequently scheduled for surgery in a tertiary university hospital. All women were evaluated by transvaginal/transrectal ultrasound according to a predetermined three-step protocol, with transabdominal ultrasound being performed in some cases. First, morphological evaluation of the mass was performed using gray-scale pattern recognition' (first step). Lesions diagnosed as having a benign pattern were considered as being at low risk of malignancy whereas tumors with solid components, ascites and/or signs of carcinomatosis were considered as being at high risk of malignancy. In both cases no further test was performed and a decision regarding clinical management, either for follow-up or surgery, was taken. Tumors with solid components but without signs of ascites or carcinomatosis were considered as being at intermediate risk of malignancy. These lesions were assessed by two-dimensional (2D) PDA to evaluate tumor vascularity (color score) (second step). Solid tumors with a color score of 1 or 2 were considered as benign and no further test was performed, while tumors with a color score of 2, 3 or 4 within solid components or a color score of 3 or 4 in the case of a solid tumor were considered as malignant. The latter group underwent 3D-PDA a