Background: Specimen radiography has been used widely to evaluate the complete excision of calcified breast lesions but has not been evaluated for thyroid cancer. Methods: Specimen radiographs were evaluated retrospectively to identify additional cancers that were demonstrated only as calcifications. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to compare the combination of specimen radiography and ultrasonography versus ultrasonography alone for detecting multifocality. Results: Some 122 thyroid cancer specimens were obtained from 122 patients between January and April 2008. Specimen radiography detected 27 cancers (18.5 per cent) not detected by ultrasonography. Diagnoses were changed after evaluation of specimen radiographs in three of these patients. The area under the curve of the combination of specimen radiography and ultrasonography was significantly higher than that of ultrasonography alone (P = 0.005). Conclusion: Specimen radiography is a potentially useful tool for diagnosing cancer type and predicting the extent of thyroid cancer.
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