Purpose To assess the effectiveness of semiquantitative elastosonography (Q-elastography) compared with contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in differentiating the nature of thyroid nodules. Methods and materials Forty-eight consecutive patients (35 males, 13 females, range: 34-69 years, mean: 49.4 years), candidate to surgery, previously detected at color-Doppler ultrasound (CDUS), were prospectively examined with elastosonography with dedicated semiquantitative software (Q-Elastography, Toshiba XG) and CEUS (Technos Mylab 70 Gold X, and Toshiba XG) before surgery. CEUS and elastosonography were evaluated by two investigators in consensus. Comparison between the CEUS pattern and elastonographic strain ratio observed and expected frequencies for the diagnoses was evaluated with χ2 test or with Fisher exact test. Results Fifty-three nodules (19 papillary carcinoma, 32 hyperplasia, and 2 follicular adenoma) in 48 patients were available for analysis. Regarding echogenicity score, sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of conventional US were 81%, 50%, 56%, 77%; according to Q-elastography, sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV were 95%, 88%, 97% and 91% respectively; whereas concerning CEUS, sensitivity specificity PPV and NPV were 79%, 91%, 83% and 89% respectively. Both CEUS and Q-elastography were more specific than US (p <0.01), with not statistical significant difference with regard to sensitivity. Conclusions The results of the present study suggest that Q-elastography is a valuable tool in the characterization of thyroid nodules and it seems to be more sensitive than CEUS.
- Thyroid nodules
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging