ULTRASOUND ASSISTANCE IN DIFFERENTIATING MALIGNANT THYROID NODULES FROM BENIGN ONES
AbstractBackground: The search is ongoing for simple, effective ways to identify and differentiate thyroid nodules in order to avoid invasive procedures. This study aims to perform an ultrasound assessment of clinically suspected patients with malignant nodules, to perform a fine needle biopsy on them, and to compare the results obtained. Methods: In total, 135 patients with thyroid nodules suspected to be malignant in the ultrasound underwent ultrasound-guided fine needle biopsies. The patients’ gender, age, ultrasound views (echogenicity, shape, and calcification type), nodule size, number of nodules, and needle biopsy results were retrospectively evaluated. Results: Of the 135 patients, 117 (86.7%) were female and 18 (13.3%) were male. In terms of age, 67 (49.16%) were younger than 40 and the rest were older. According to the Chi-square test, a significant relationship was found between the type of nodule and calcification found in the ultrasound views (p=0.001). The nodule type was not significantly related to gender (p=0.563) or to the number of nodules (p=0.128); however, there was a significant relationship between nodule size and type (p=0.001). Ultrasound specificity, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy for differentiating benign from malignant nodules were 93.2%, 93.8%, 81.1%, 98%, and 93.3%, respectively. Conclusions: Ultrasound views (comet tail artefact and linear echogenic foci) were better predictors of benign nodules than of malignant ones, while round, echogenic foci, brighter and larger than typical micro-calcifications without any visible echoes and multiple punctuate round echogenic foci were better predicted malignancy.Keywords: Aspiration; Fine-Needle; Nodules; Thyroid; Ultrasound Imaging
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