The ultrasound risk stratification systems for thyroid nodule have been evaluated against papillary carcinoma. A meta-analysis

Pierpaolo Trimboli, Marco Castellana, Arnoldo Piccardo, Francesco Romanelli, Giorgio Grani, Luca Giovanella, Cosimo Durante

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Thyroid imaging reporting and data systems (TIRADS) are used to stratify the malignancy risk of thyroid nodule by ultrasound (US) examination. We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the pooled cancer prevalence and the relative prevalence of papillary, medullary, follicular thyroid cancer (PTC, MTC, and FTC) and other malignancies among nodules included in studies evaluating their performance. Four databases were searched until February 2020. Original articles with at least 1000 nodules, evaluating the performance of at least one TIRADS among AACE/ACE/AME, ACR-TIRADS, ATA, EU-TIRADS, or K-TIRADS, and reporting data on the histological diagnosis of malignant lesions were included. The number of malignant nodules, PTC, FTC, MTC and other malignancies in each study was extracted. For statistical pooling of data, a random-effects model was used. Nine studies were included, evaluating 19,494 thyroid nodules. The overall prevalence of malignancy was 34% (95%CI 21 to 49). Among 6162 histologically proven malignancies, the prevalence of PTC, FTC, MTC and other malignancies was 95%, 2%, 1%, and 1%, respectively. A high heterogeneity was found for all the outcomes. A limited number of studies generally conducted using a retrospective design was found, with possible selection bias. Acknowledging this limitation, TIRADSs should be regarded as accurate tools to diagnose PTC only. Proposed patterns and/or cut-offs should be revised and other strategies considered to improve their performance in the assessment of FTC, MTC and other malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Follicular
  • Medullary
  • Papillary
  • Thyroid
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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