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Virtual touch tissue imaging on acoustic radiation force impulse elastography: a new technique for differential diagnosis between benign and malignant thyroid nodules



Virtual touch tissue imaging on acoustic radiation force impulse elastography: a new technique for differential diagnosis between benign and malignant thyroid nodules



Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine 33(4): 585-595



Objectives- Acoustic radiation force impulse elastography is a newly developed ultrasound elasticity imaging technique that included both Virtual Touch tissue quantification and Virtual Touch tissue imaging (VTI; Siemens Medical Solutions, Mountain View, CA). This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of VTI in differentiating malignant from benign thyroid nodules. Methods- This study included 192 consecutive patients with thyroid nodules (n = 219) who underwent surgery for compressive symptoms or suspicion of malignancy. Tissue stiffness on VTI elastography was scored from 1 (soft) to 6 (hard). The VTI scores between malignant and benign thyroid nodules were compared. The intraobserver and interobserver agreement for VTI elastography was also assessed. Results- On VTI elastography: score 1 was found in 84 nodules (all benign); score 2 in 37 nodules (3 papillary carcinomas and 34 benign nodules); score 3 in 25 nodules (1 medullary carcinoma, 6 papillary carcinomas, and 18 benign nodules); score 4 in 53 nodules (50 papillary carcinomas and 3 benign nodules); score 5 in 17 nodules (14 papillary carcinomas and 3 benign nodules); and score 6 in 3 nodules (all papillary carcinomas). A VTI elasticity score of 4 or greater was highly predictive of malignancy (P< .01), and the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 87.0% (67 of 77), 95.8% (136 of 142), 91.8% (67 of 73), 93.1% (136 of 146), and 92.7% (203 of 219), respectively. The κ values were 0.69 for intraobserver agreement and 0.85 for interobserver agreement. Conclusions- Virtual Touch tissue elasticity imaging has great potential as an adjunctive tool combined with conventional sonography for differential diagnosis between benign and malignant thyroid nodules.

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Accession: 056876302

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24658938

DOI: 10.7863/ultra.33.4.585


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