The Role of Elastography in the Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules
Ultrasound is considered the first line examination in the exploration of the thyroid
nodule. Echotexture analysis often identifies nodules at risk of malignancy, but does not
replace or exclude an additional cytological exploration. Cytology, although effective, also
has limitations, particularly when samples are vesicular and it is difficult discern between
a benign or malignant state. The creation of a noninvasive method in this context could help
to avoid invasive tests or "useless" surgical procedures.
Ultrasound elastography, which assesses tissue deformability, may provide valuable
information concerning benign soft tissue characteristics, whereas malignant lesions are
harder in consistency. Interest in this method, already proposed for other organs, has
recently increased due to the emergence of specifically created software that enables
objective evaluation of the hardness of the nodule during a conventional ultrasound
analysis. The main hypothesis of this study is that elastography should allow better
selection of candidates for thyroid surgery.
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
The difference between AUCs for the reference diagnostic method (cytology alone)and the new (cytology + elastography) diagnostic method.
Areas under the curves are estimated using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Chitney statistic. The gold standard is determined by anatomopathological examination of the excised tumor.
Véronique Taillard, MD
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nîmes
France: Committee for the Protection of Personnes