Gray scale sonography and US-guided biopsy are cost-effective and reliable procedures in the differential diagnosis of focal thyroid lesions. The frequent presence of multiple foci can make multiple biopsies intolerable to the patient. The use of a sonographic contrast agent (Levovist) composed of microbubbles was evaluated in the differential diagnosis of focal solid lesions of the thyroid. Time/intensity curves after bolus injection of contrast were studied with samplings at the level of focal lesions, extranodular parenchyma and common carotid in 29 lesions of 25 patients (16 females and 9 males) ranging in age 21 to 68 years. The evaluated parameters were: the curve morphology, the time to peak value, the mean enhancement time and the wash-in/out variate gamma curve. All focal lesions underwent biopsy. No significant differences were observed as for mean enhancement time while for time to peak values only two malignant lesions seemed to show values different from those of other solid lesions. Wash-in/out variate gamma curves seemed more interesting; they presented a dual morphology: 1) parenchymal for hyperplastic areas, pseudonodular neoformations during thyroiditis and healthy thyroid parenchyma, 2) vascular for malignant lesions and carotid lumen. Autonomous nodules showed an intermediate morphology. In spite of major limitations, the results seem to pave the way for additional possibilities of noninvasive differential diagnosis in the evaluation of focal solid thyroid lesions.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Rays - International Journal of Radiological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|