Off-site evaluation of three-dimensional ultrasound for the diagnosis of thyroid nodules: comparison with two-dimensional ultrasound.

Research paper by Soo Chin SC Kim, Ji-Hoon JH Kim, Seung Hong SH Choi, Tae Jin TJ Yun, Jae Yeon JY Wi, Sun Ah SA Kim, Hye Young HY Sun, Inseon I Ryoo, Sun-Won SW Park, Chul-Ho CH Sohn

Indexed on: 23 Jan '16Published on: 23 Jan '16Published in: European Radiology


We compared the diagnostic performance of off-site evaluation between prospectively obtained 3D and 2D ultrasound for thyroid nodules.3D and 2D ultrasonographies were preoperatively obtained from 85 consecutive patients (mean age, 51 years; age range, 28-83 years) who were referred for a total thyroidectomy. Three radiologists independently evaluated 3D and 2D images of 91 pathologically confirmed thyroid nodules (30 benign and 61 malignant nodules) for nodule characterization. Diagnostic performance, interobserver agreement and time for scanning were compared between 3D and 2D.3D had significantly higher sensitivities than 2D for predicting malignancy (78.7 % vs. 61.2 %, P < 0.01) and extrathyroidal extension (66.7 % vs. 46.4 %, P = 0.03) in malignancy. In terms of specificities, there were no statistically significant differences between 2D and 3D for predicting malignancy (78.4 % vs. 74.8 %, P = 1.00) and extrathyroidal extension (63.6 % vs. 57.6 %, P = 0.46). With respect to interobserver agreement, 3D showed moderate agreement (κ = 0.53) for predicting extrathyroidal extension in malignancy compared with 2D ultrasound, which showed fair agreement (κ = 0.37). 3D saved time (30 ± 56.52 s) for scanning compared with 2D.For off-site evaluation, 3D US is more useful for diagnosis of thyroid nodules than 2D US.• 3D had higher sensitivity than 2D for predicting malignancy and extrathyroidal extension. • 3D showed better agreement for predicting extrathyroidal extension in malignancy than 2D. • 3D thyroid ultrasound saved time for scanning compared with 2D. • For off-site evaluation of thyroid nodules, 3D is more useful than 2D.