Qualitative and Semiquantitative Elastography for the Diagnosis of Intermediate Suspicious Thyroid Nodules Based on the 2015 American Thyroid Association Guidelines

Bo Ra Yang, Eun Kyung Kim, Hee Jung Moon, Jung Hyun Yoon, Vivian Y. Park, Jin Young Kwak

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Objectives: To evaluate qualitative and semiquantitative elastography for the diagnosis of intermediate suspicious thyroid nodules based on the 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines. Methods: Through a retrospective search of our institutional database, 746 solid thyroid nodules found on grayscale ultrasonography, strain elastography, and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration between June and November 2009 were collected. Among them, 80 nodules from 80 patients with an intermediate suspicion of malignancy based on the 2015 ATA guidelines that were 10 mm or larger were recruited as the final study nodules. Elastographic findings were categorized according to the criteria of Rago et al (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007; 92:2917–2922) and Asteria et al (Thyroid 2008; 18:523–531), and strain ratio values were calculated and recorded. The independent 2-sample t test and χ 2 test (or Fisher exact test) were used to evaluate differences in clinical parameters between benign and malignant thyroid nodules. All variables were compared by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses, and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results: Of the 80 nodules, 6 (7.5%) were malignant, and 74 (92.5%) were benign. No significant differences were observed in age, sex, nodule size, elasticity score, and strain ratio between benign and malignant nodules. No variables significantly predicted thyroid malignancy on the univariate analysis. On the multivariate logistic regression analysis, there were no independent variables associated with thyroid malignancy, including the elasticity score and strain ratio (all P >.05). Conclusions: Elastographic analysis using the elasticity score and strain ratio has limited ability to characterize the benignity or malignancy of thyroid nodules with an intermediate suspicion of malignancy based on the 2015 ATA guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1014
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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