Efficacy of Shear Wave Elastography in Differential Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules

    Thyroid nodules are found in up to 60% of adults by means of ultrasound (US). It is clinically important to distinguish malignant nodules from benign nodules, which do not require aspiration or surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of shear wave elastography (SWE) in differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules.

    We analyzed the data from 133 patients with thyroid nodules who underwent SWE before US-guided fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsy and 30 normal subjects. The mean (EMean), minimum (EMin), maximum (EMax), and standard deviation (ESD) of SWE elasticity indices were measured.

    Among 133 nodules, 42 were benign follicular nodule (BFN), 18 were chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT), 69 were papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), and 4 were subacute thyroiditis (ST). The EMean was 17.6 kPa in NL, 30.8 kPa in BFN, 35.4 kPa in CLT, 44.6 kPa in PTC and 86.7 kPa in ST, and was significantly different across the five groups (p<0.001).

    The shear elasticity index of EMean may help to identify and select nodules which need performing fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsy.


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