1Abdominal Ultrasound Unit, Kinki University School of Medicine, 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kinki University School of Medicine, 3Department of Pathology, Kinki University School of Medicine
color Doppler imaging, gastric cancer, ultrasonography
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vascularity of primary gastric cancer lesions using color Doppler ultrasonography. Methods. We used color Doppler ultrasonography to study 78 patients with gastric cancer detected on Bmode ultrasonographic examination and 14 patients without gastric tumors but with a slightly thickened gastric wall that was also detected on B-mode ultrasound. The color Doppler signals of the gastric lesions were graded as (-), no color signals; (+), slight increase in number of color signals; and (++), an obvious increase in number of color signals. The vessel area outside the tumor area in the microscopic pathological specimens was also calculated. Results. The color signals of 13 (18%) of the 71 gastric cancer patients were graded (-); those of 14 (20%) patients were graded (+); and those of 44 (62%) patients were graded (++). The color signals for 9 (65%) of 14 patients without gastric tumors were graded (-); those of 4 (28%) patients were graded (+), and those of 1 patient (7%) were graded (++). These differences were significant (P=0.0002). The vessel count ratio in the microscopic pathologic specimens was also significantly higher in patients with an increased number of color signals than in those without an increased number of color signals (P=0.002). Conclusion. Color Doppler ultrasound showed increased vascularity in the gastric cancers in most of the subjects (82%, 58/71). Furthermore, color Doppler ultrasound also showed no increase in vascularity in most subjects (65%, 9/14) whose B-mode ultrasonograms showed thickened gastric walls but who did not have gastric cancer. Thus, color Doppler imaging may prove useful as a screening modality for gastric cancer.