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Onco Targets Ther. 2016 Mar 9;9:1311-7. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S98583. eCollection 2016.

Diagnostic value of two-dimensional shear wave elastography in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.

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Department of Interventional Ultrasound, Medical Center Tsinghua University, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Department of Interventional Ultrasound, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Department of Interventional Ultrasound, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictability of two-dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) for papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC).


One hundred and eighteen patients with 137 thyroid nodules (46 benign nodules, 91 malignant nodules) were included in this study who received conventional ultrasound (US) and 2D-SWE before fine-needle aspiration or surgery. The diagnostic performance was compared between US findings only and the combined use of US findings with 2D-SWE, which were correlated with pathology results.


Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to assess the diagnostic performance of 2D-SWE. Conventional US findings and 2D-SWE values were analyzed and compared between benign and malignant thyroid nodules. The mean values of SWE_mean, SWE_min, and SWE_max were 46.6±16.7, 26.2±9.5, and 73.6±18.1 kPa, respectively, in PTMC, which were significantly higher than those in benign tumors (27.8±12.4, 15.8±8.6, and 50.3±22.6 kPa, P<0.001). The optimal cut-off values of SWE_mean, SWE_min, and SWE_max for predicting malignancy were 34.5, 21.8, and 53.2 kPa, respectively. Taller than wide, micro-calcification, and SWE_mean were found to be independent risk factors for predicting PTMC. The overall sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of combined conventional US features with 2D-SWE parameters were 95.7%, 94.5%, 94.9%, 89.8%, and 97.7%, respectively; these were superior to those of conventional US (89.1%, 90.1%, 89.9%, 82.0%, and 93.2%).


The study indicates that the quantitative parameters of 2D-SWE are an independent predictive factor for diagnosing PTMC, which could provide valuable information when conventional US cannot give determinate results.


diagnostic performance; malignancy; shear wave elastography; thyroid nodule

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