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Shear Wave Elastography May Add a New Dimension to Ultrasound Evaluation of Thyroid Nodules: Case Series with Comparative Evaluation

Journal of Thyroid Research
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2012/657147
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Although elastography can enhance the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules, its diagnostic performance is not ideal at present. Further improvements in the technique and creation of robust diagnostic criteria are necessary. The purpose of this study was to compare the usefulness of strain elastography and a new generation of elasticity imaging called supersonic shear wave elastography (SSWE) in differential evaluation of thyroid nodules. Six thyroid nodules in 4 patients were studied. SSWE yielded 1 true-positive and 5 true-negative results. Strain elastography yielded 5 false-positive results and 1 false-negative result. A novel finding appreciated with SSWE, were punctate foci of increased stiffness corresponding to microcalcifications in 4 nodules, some not visible on B-mode ultrasound, as opposed to soft, colloid-inspissated areas visible on B-mode ultrasound in 2 nodules. This preliminary paper indicates that SSWE may outperform strain elastography in differentiation of thyroid nodules with regard to their stiffness. SSWE showed the possibility of differentiation of high echogenic foci into microcalcifications and inspissated colloid, adding a new dimension to thyroid elastography. Further multicenter large-scale studies of thyroid nodules evaluating different elastographic methods are warranted.

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