A beneficial role of computer-aided diagnosis system for less experienced physicians in the diagnosis of thyroid nodule on ultrasound

Sunyoung Kang, Eunjung Lee, Chae Won Chung, Han Na Jang, Joon Ho Moon, Yujin Shin, Kyuho Kim, Ying Li, Soo Myoung Shin, Yoo Hyung Kim, Seul Ki Kwon, Chang Ho Ahn, Kyong Yeun Jung, A. Ram Hong, Young Joo Park, Do Joon Park, Jin Young Kwak, Sun Wook Cho

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonography (US) is the primary diagnostic tool for thyroid nodules, while the accuracy is operator-dependent. It is widely used not only by radiologists but also by physicians with different levels of experience. The aim of this study was to investigate whether US with computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) has assisting roles to physicians in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules. 451 thyroid nodules evaluated by fine-needle aspiration cytology following surgery were included. 300 (66.5%) of them were diagnosed as malignancy. Physicians with US experience less than 1 year (inexperienced, n = 10), or more than 5 years (experienced, n = 3) reviewed the US images of thyroid nodules with or without CAD assistance. The diagnostic performance of CAD was comparable to that of the experienced group, and better than those of the inexperienced group. The AUC of the CAD for conventional PTC was higher than that for FTC and follicular variant PTC (0.925 vs. 0.499), independent of tumor size. CAD assistance significantly improved diagnostic performance in the inexperienced group, but not in the experienced groups. In conclusion, the CAD system showed good performance in the diagnosis of conventional PTC. CAD assistance improved the diagnostic performance of less experienced physicians in US, especially in diagnosis of conventional PTC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20448
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2019R1A2C1002375 and 2021R1A2C2007492). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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